This week’s review of women’s club football is highlighted by a clash of two heavyweights in Germany. In France, reigning champions Lyon’s remain seemingly unstoppable, while the focus is further down the table in Japan after INCAC Kobe Leonessa’s recent title triumph.
*Germany: Big guns in stalemate *One of the highlights of the German season took place on the weekend as traditional giants Turbine Potsdam hosted reigning champions Wolfsburg. A first half strike from Potsdam’s Pauline Bremer was cancelled out after the interval by the visitor’s veteran goal-ace Martina Muller. Nevertheless, Turbine stay top on goal difference ahead of old rivals 1.FFC Frankfurt who were pushed all the way at Jena before Kerstin Garefrekes found a winner. Bayern Munich leapfrogged Wolfsburg into third with their 2-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen based on a double from USA forward Sarah Hagen.
*Top three: Turbine Potsdam, Frankfurt (both 14 points), Bayern Munich (13) *
*Japan: Champs celebrate, dethroned queens fret *INAC Kobe Leonessa celebrated last weekend’s title triumph with a win in front of their own fans against Urawa Reds. However, the champions had to come from behind to earn maximum points with Beverly Goebel-Yanez and Megumi Takase netting, while Ami Otaki notably came on as a late substitute having most recently been at French powerhouse Lyon. The focus now turns to the race for second and 12-time champions NTV Beleza are facing the prospect of missing a top-two finish in the Nadeshiko League for the first time this century. Beleza, who didn’t play on the weekend due to player commitments at the AFC U-19 Women’s Championship, are a point behind Iga Kunoichi and Okayama Belle Yunogo with a match in hand, although they still have to face the champions.
*Top three: INAC Kobe Leonessa (42), Iga Kunoichi and Okayama Belle Yunogo (both 27) *
*France: Frontrunners untroubled *It was a case of as you were for the heavy-hitters in France. Champions Lyon eased to a 4-0 home win over Rodez to maintain their perfect record. Second-placed Paris Saint-Germain also were untroubled in claiming a 6-0 win on the road at Guingamp. Les Bleues star forward Marie-Laure Delie took the weekend’s goalscoring honours by netting four times for PSG. Fellow Parisians Juvisy, however, suffered a surprise 2-1 home defeat at the hands of mid-table Soyaux.
*Top three: Lyon (28), Paris Saint Germain (25), Juvisy (22) *
*New Zealand: Capital club remain perfect, starlets sparkle *Capital are the only team with a 100 per cent record after two rounds of the national league season thanks to a breezy 7-2 win over WaiBOP that included a treble from Emma Rolston. The first ever national league match held in the far-north town of Whangarei – a venue for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup – provided the upset of the round. Jitka Klimkova’s U-17 Selection surprised Northern 1-0 with a lone strike from starlet Martine Puketapu. The team are taking part in this year’s competition with an eye on qualification for Costa Rica 2014.
*Top three: Capital (6), Mainland Pride (4), Northern, Auckland, U-17 Selection (all 3) *