As the title race in the USA enters the final straight, the gap between the top three in Sweden is shrinking, while in Norway, holders LSK Kvinner are back on track. FIFA.com reviews the pick of the action from selected women’s leagues around the world.* *
*USA: No change at the top *Leaders Seattle Reign became the first team to book their place in the NWSL play-offs thanks to a 2-1 victory over Houston Dash, with striker Merritt Mathias and defender Rachel Corsie on target. The top four teams at the end of the regular season go into two play-off semi-finals and then a final to decide the championship.
Chicago Red Stars and Washington Spirit look like joining Seattle in the play-offs. The pair faced each other on Sunday and it was Washington who came out on top thanks to Crystal Dunn’s injury-time winner. Hoping to take the final play-off berth are Kansas City, after goals from Mandy Laddish, Amy Rodriguez and Erika Tymrak gave them a convincing 3-0 win over Portland Thorns.
Top three: *Seattle Reign (33), Washington Spirit, Chicago Red Stars (both 28)*
*Sweden: Chasing pack close in *Rosengard’s bid to retain their Damallsvenskan crown suffered a blow on Friday night as they dropped two points at home to Vittsjo GIK. The table-toppers, who were without the injured Marta and Anita Asante, took an early lead through Emma Berglund, but goals from Jane Ross and Antonia Goransson swung the game in the visitors‘ favour. A penalty from Sara Bjork Gunnarsdottir then rescued a point for Rosengard after Ramona Bachmann had been fouled in the area.
Hot on the heels of the reigning champions are Eskilstuna United. Viktor Eriksson’s side are now only two points behind after beating Umea IK 2-1 and have their sights set on glory, as do Linkopings, who have the chance to go level with Eskilstuna when they play Hammarby on Wednesday.
*Top three: *Rosengard (30), Eskilstuna United (28), Linkopings (25)
*Norway: Kvinner bounce back *After being held to a goalless draw by Stabaek in their previous fixture, LSK Kvinner returned to winning ways with an emphatic 7-2 win over Amazon Grimstad. Marte Berget opened the scoring followed by goals from Lene Mykjaland (2), Emilie Haavi (2), Marita Lund and Celine Petersen. They are now eight points ahead of second-placed Avaldsnes, who could only manage a 2-2 draw against Trondheim, although they have the chance to close the gap when they meet Klepp on Wednesday.
Top three: LSK Kvinner (34), Avaldsnes (26), Klepp (25)
*Switzerland/Austria: New seasons get underway *Although it is early days in the Swiss and Austrian leagues, after two games in Switzerland, Neunkirch already boast a goal difference in double figures after following up their 8-1 win over St Gallen with a 6-1 triumph against promoted side Lugano. Meanwhile, Zurich, who have dominated the Nationalliga in recent years, saw no league action at the weekend as they were competing in the Valais Women’s Cup along with Paris Saint-Germain, Lyon and Bayern Munich.
Top three: Neunkirch, Luzern (both 6), Zurich (3)* *
The second round of matches in the Austrian Bundesliga also took place last weekend, with both St. Polten-Spratzern and Altenmarkt making it two wins from two. The former are top after 3-2 and 5-1 victories over Wacker Innsbruck and Landhaus respectively, while Altenmarkt ran out 2-0 winners over both Sudburgenland and LUV Graz. Last season’s runners-up Neulengbach travelled to Union Kleinmunchen as favourites after their 4-2 win over Landhaus on the opening day, but left disappointed after a 2-1 defeat.
Top three: St. Poltern-Spratzern, Altenmarkt (both 6), Sturm Graz (4)