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Wolfsburg women hope for home leg ‘miracle’ against Barca


Berlin (AFP) – Wolfsburg hope the support of a record home crowd can help inspire them to a “miracle” result against Barcelona in their Champions League semi-final, second leg on Saturday following their Camp Nou thrashing.

Wolfsburg suffered a humbling 5-1 defeat in front of a massive crowd of 91,648 – a world record in women’s football – at Barcelona in the first leg.

A sell-out crowd of a more modest 20,000 is expected for the return leg at Wolfsburg, where the hosts know the odds are stacked against them.

“We want to do everything possible, especially with the fans behind us. Maybe we can pull off a miracle,” Wolfsburg’s Germany defender Felicitas Rauch told local paper WAZ.

Wolfsburg were behind in the first leg after just three minutes and never recovered as Barcelona strolled to a 4-0 half-time lead.

The visit of the Spanish giants means Wolfsburg are set to smash the club’s crowd record of 12,464 for a women’s match, which Rausch says will inspire the hosts.

“The spirit of our team is to believe in our chance until the end,” Rauch promised. “We definitely want to win.”

That said, Barcelona are on an incredible 45-match winning streak dating back to last season.

They are overwhelming favourites to reach the women’s Champions League final in Turin on May 21 against either Paris Saint-Germain or Olympique Lyon.

Wolfsburg, who are top of the women’s Bundesliga table, will do well to subdue Barcelona’s star player and captain Alexia Putellas, who scored twice in the first leg.

Regardless of Saturday’s result, Rauch says Wolfsburg, who won consecutive women’s European titles in 2013 and 2014, have already learnt plenty from facing such powerful opponents.

“If we continuously improve over the next few years, we too will once again be a team that plays for the Champions League title,” she said. 

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