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Bayern Munich see Sunday’s DFB-Pokal Frauen as last chance for title this season

For nearly a decade, Wolfsburg have owned the DFB Pokal Frauen. Bayern Munich will look to end that run on Sunday.

Bayern München v Olympique Lyon: Group D - UEFA Women’s Champions League Photo by Roland Krivec/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

The end of March and beginning of April was a rough week for Bayern Munich Frauen. Hammered by injuries and COVID absences, the depleted Bavarians were dumped from the Champions League (in extra time) against Paris Saint-Germain and then were thrashed by Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga stretching their lead to four points, effectively ending the league season with only three matches remaining.

“Those were very difficult weeks,” Bayern defender Carolin Simon said. “We don’t have to sugarcoat anything.”

Now, the Bavarians have one more shot at a title, and that comes in Sunday’s DFB-Pokal Semifinal against that same Wolfsburg team. A team, by the way, who have won eight of the last nine Pokals, including seven in a row. This has basically been their cup for the last decade.

Simon knows that the Pokal has taken on even more significance for Bayern with their recent losses in the UWCL and the Bundesliga: “Even if we as Bayern Munich always believe in our chance to the last, the DFB Cup has of course become even more important. I’ve never been to the final in Cologne. I would like to finally fulfill this huge dream. We want to win this title for ourselves because we have invested a great deal this season. We have to reward ourselves for that.”

Unfortunately, head coach Jens Scheuer has some absences due to injuries still. Laura Benkarth, Ivana Rudelić, and Marina Hegering are still out, as they have been most of the season. Jovana Damnjanović picked up an ankle injury in Serbia’s recent massive World Cup Qualifying win against Germany and may not be available. Cecilía Rán Rúnarsdóttir broke her hand in training this week and is set for surgery next week, but thankfully, Maria Luisa Grohs has recovered from COVID and will be available as the backup goalkeeper.

“We want to show that we play good football, that we play aggressive football, successful football play and I’m in good spirits and have high hopes that we’ll show our true colors,” Scheuer said. “That’s our approach and that’s why we’re incredibly looking forward to this game in the DFB Cup,”

There are few disputes that Bayern and Wolfsburg are Germany’s two best clubs. The two teams have won nine straight Bundesliga titles (Wolfsburg 6, Bayern 3). They’ve also won nine of the last ten DFB-Pokals (Wolfsburg 8, Bayern 1).

Bayern know that if they were going to win the Pokal, they would have to finally overcome Wolfsburg. In each of the last five seasons, Wolfsburg have been the team to eliminated Bayern from the Pokal and only one of those was the Final.

“We definitely want to show a different face. It’s about accepting the duels and then winning the individual duels, being present on the pitch and playing our game,” Sydney Lohmann said. “We want to leave everything on the field on Sunday and make it to the final.”

The other semifinal match will take place on Sunday when Bayer Leverkusen host Turbine Potsdam.