Thursday, May 23, 2013

23 May 2002 - There's A Reason It's Called A Home Advantage

On 23 May 2002, Frankfurt hosted and won the first UEFA Women's Cup Final, beating Umeå 2-0.

Although UEFA first held a tournament for women's international teams in 1969, and has organized a regular European championship since 1982, the 2001-02 Women's Cup was its first club competition for its distaff members. Including a single-match qualifying round, a total of 33 teams participated.

Both Frankfurt and Umeå impressed in the early rounds, winning their groups without a loss and setting goal differentials of +24 and +10, respectively (Frankfurt's differential was reached primarily in a single game when they beat CSC Yerevan 18-0 in their final match of the group).

They both made their way through the knockout rounds to reach the final, played at the Waldstadion in Frankfurt. There, a crowd of just over 12,000 gathered to watch a closely-fought match that remained scoreless deep into the second half.

Then, in the 68th minute, defender Steffi Jones, a German international and Frankfurt native, scored the opening goal to put the hosts in front. The defenses for both sides continued to dominate for the remaining minutes before midfielder and captain Birgit Prinz (pictured) added a second for the home team in the 89th minute to set the final margin at 2-0.

The two teams met twice more in the tournament final, with Umeå winning in 2004 and Frankfurt winning in 2008.

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