Drama was in plentiful supply over the weekend in Europe with trophies handed out in Germany, France and in the joint Belgium/Netherlands league. Nowhere was more tense than in Germany as Wolfsburg moved into first place in the very last minute of the season to retain their crown. Lyon and Twente did likewise in claiming more silverware, albeit in slightly more measured fashion. FIFA.com’s weekly review of women’s club action also goes Stateside where Seattle Reign remain imperious.
*Germany: Stunning Wolfsburg again retain title *Wolfsburg have followed up their recent dramatic UEFA Women’s Champions League win by securing their second successive double, again with a conclusion straight from the realms of fantasy. The quirks of the draw had the top two – Frankfurt and Wolfsburg - facing off on the final day of the season though the former only needed a draw to hold onto top spot.
Over 12,000 were on hand at the VFL Wolfsburg arena to see Verena Faisst’s first-half opener cancelled out by Frankfurt’s Kozue Ando with eight minutes remaining. However, Alexandra Popp netted with just a minute left to seal the crown in the most dramatic fashion imaginable, leaving the league’s most successful club without a championship since 2008. The one positive for Frankfurt was striker Celia Sasic (nee Okoyino da Mbabi) taking out the top scorers award with 20 goals. Duisburg’s Sofia Nati was also among the goals over the weekend netting five times as her side cruised to a 7-0 win over relegated Sindelfingen.
*Top three: Wolfsburg (55 points), 1.FFC Frankfurt (53), Turbine Potsdam (49) *
*USA: Seattle continue to reign *
It was a goal-laden weekend in the National Women’s Soccer League but little indent has been made on runaway leaders Seattle Reign who boast an eight-point advantage, despite having played two matches less than second-placed Kansas City. The north-west side made it 11 games unbeaten this season with Kim Little twice finding the net – her sixth straight game with a goal – in a 3-1 win over Chicago Red Stars. USA star striker Alex Morgan made a welcome return from long-term injury for Portland Thorns, but she was unable to inspire her team as Western New York Flash triumphed 5-0 to gain a measure of revenge for defeat in last year’s Championship decider. Carli Lloyd and Samantha Kerr both bagged doubles in front of 13,000 Portland fans, with Spain icon Veronica Boquete and Australian rising star Steph Catley both making their debuts for the home side. Houston Dash, the league’s newest club, are finally on a roll after a 3-0 triumph at Sky Blue FC secured successive wins for the first time.
*Top three: Seattle Reign (29), Kansas City (21), Washington Spirit, Chicago Red Stars (both 19) *
*France: Lyon crowned cup queens again *It was a familiar tale in France as Lyon won the double for the third successive year thanks to a hard-fought 2-0 win over Paris Saint-Germain in the French Cup final played in Le Mans. Playmaker Louisa Necib set up both goals as Lara Dickenmann and Corinne Petit-Franco scored within the space of five second-half minutes, to deny the Parisians any hope of repeating their January win over the same opponent. Coach Patrice Lair completed his four-year tenure at Lyon with a tenth trophy, with Gerard Precheur announced as the new man to take the hot-seat.
*Belgium/Netherlands: Twente make it two in a row *Twente retained the league title with an emphatic 7-0 win on the road at Club Brugge. Nearest challengers Standard Liege finished just two points off the pace with a 2-1 final-day win at Belgian rivals Lierse. Teenage Heerenveen sensation Vivianne Miedema topped the goalscoring charts thanks to her remarkable tally of 39 goals, with the Bayern Munich-bound striker helping her side to fourth in the second season of the joint Belgium/Netherlands league.
*Top three: FC Twente (65), Lierse (63), Ajax (54) *