- Ann-Katrin Berger starred as Chelsea Women saw off Lyon in the Champions League quarter-finals
- Berger saved two penalties after Maren Mjelde scored a late equaliser to force the match to a shootout
- The German goalkeeper has been diagnosed with thyroid cancer twice in her professional career
Seven months ago, Chelsea Women's goalkeeper, Ann-Katrin Berger revealed that the thyroid cancer she was first diagnosed with in 2017 had resurfaced.
She underwent treatment with the full support of the club and her partner, Jess Carter, who is also her teammate at Chelsea.
In her absence and subsequent journey to fitness, Swedish goalkeeper, Zecira Musovic was ably deputised as Emma Hayes' side chased another Super League title.
But in as much as the title is as important as any other, the manager or any member of her team would readily exchange one WSL crown for a Champions League title.
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Hayes has been at the club since 2012 and has overseen five title victories, but her best-ever finish in the Champions League was the mauling they received in the final from Barcelona in 2021.
On March 30, Chelsea's hopes of advancing to the next round of the Champions League began to evaporate when Sara Dabritz scored for Lyon 10 minutes from the end of extra time. The goal gave the French side a 2-1 lead on aggregate.
Lauren James, Reece James' sister, was fouled in the penalty area deep in stoppage time, with Maren Mjelde stepping up to force the game into penalties.
Berger's penalty heroics
Chelsea converted its first three spot kicks, but Lyon missed its third as captain, Wendie Renard was thwarted by Berger.
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The unconvincing penalty was parried away to hand the advantage to the Blues.
However, James missed the next penalty, with Dabritz's next attempt for Lyon going past Berger to return the game to where it had started.
Berger's partner, Carter made no mistake with Chelsea's last penalty rifling past FIFPro Women's World Best XI goalkeeper, Christiane Endler.
And to complete the story, Berger looked to follow her partner's cue while American international, Lindsay Horan had to score to keep the eight-time Champions League winners in the game.
Horan's shot was at the perfect height for Berger to make a lunging save to her right, to send Hayes' women to the last four.
As the rest of her teammates serenaded her, it was definitely a fulfilling moment for the German custodian, who has now endured extreme highs and lows in a short span of time.
Chelsea's reward will be a date with Spanish giants, Barcelona in the semi-finals.
Hayes lauds Berger
Sports Brief also reported on Chelsea manager, Hayes lauding Bergee as the best penalty-saving goalkeeper she had worked with.
The comments followed the German's heroics to help the Blues knock holders, Lyon out of the Women's Champions League on Thursday.
The 32-year-old, diagnosed with thyroid cancer for a second time in August, made two saves in a penalty shootout to reach the semis.