While the German and French leagues slowly gather momentum, with Olympique Lyon particularly prolific in front of goal, Eskilstuna United are just five matches away from causing a sensation in Sweden. Meanwhile in the USA, four teams have now secured their play-off semi-final spots.
Germany: Favourites triumph in second round of matches
The Women’s Bundesliga’s second round of games was a day of few surprises. Champions Bayern Munich secured a 2-0 win over newly promoted 1. FC Koln thanks to goals from Nora Holstad and Sara Dabritz, while German Cup holders VfL Wolfsburg also got the better of a fledgling top-flight side as Babett Peter and Lara Dickenmann fired the She-Wolves to a 2-0 victory over Werder Bremen in front of a home crowd.
While 1. FFC Frankfurt were also able to celebrate their second successive league triumph by defeating Hoffenheim 1-0, Turbine Potsdam and Essen recorded their maiden victories of the new season, with the Torbienen beating Freiburg 2-0 and Essen securing a 1-0 win against Sand. Meanwhile, Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FF USV Jena battled their way to a goalless draw at the foot of the table after both sides suffered heavy defeats last weekend.
Top three: Wolfsburg, Bayern Munich, 1. FFC Frankfurt (all 6 points)
*USA: Semi-final line-up confirmed *Seattle Reign are heading into the NWSL’s final round at the top of the table after winning 2-1 at Washington Spirit in their last regular-season game, with Jessica Fishlock and Megan Rapinoe finding the target to hand Seattle their 13th win of the campaign. The two sides will meet once again in the play-off semi-final on Sunday 13 September, with Seattle enjoying home advantage this time around.
Chicago Red Stars and Kansas City will contest the other last-four encounter after Chicago managed a 1-1 draw with Houston Dash. Red Stars goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc delivered a glittering performance just two days after announcing her decision to retire at season’s end. Meanwhile, Kansas City won their final regular-season game 3-2 against Sky Blue FC thanks to a brace from Amy Rodriguez and a further strike from Sarah Hagen.
Top four (final standings): Seattle Reign (43), Chicago Red Stars (33), FC Kansas City (32), Washington Spirit (30)
France: One resounding victory after another
Despite the fact that just two rounds of matches have been completed in Ligue 1 Feminine so far, one team have begun their campaign in particularly impressive style. Olympique Lyon followed up their resounding 7-0 opening day victory with an equally stunning 9-0 rout of Nimes FF. Lyon now sit atop the standings with a positive goal difference of 16, closely followed by a Montpellier side that most recently defeated Guingamp 3-0. The championship’s leading trio is completed by last season’s runners-up Paris Saint-Germain, who celebrated a 2-0 win over Soyaux thanks to strikes from Brazil’s Erika and German international Anja Mittag.
Top three: Olympique Lyon, Montpellier, Paris Saint-Germain (all 8)
Sweden: Eskilstuna and Rosengard marching in step
Anyone tipping Eskilstuna United as favourites for the Damallsvenskan title at the start of the 2015 season will likely have been greeted with disbelief; after all, Eskilstuna were only promoted to the top flight last year, ending their debut campaign in seventh place. Seventeen league games later, coach Viktor Eriksson’s side find themselves within touching distance of dethroning Rosengard after maintaining their championship lead with a 2-0 home win over Vittsjo a day after the holders beat KIF Orebro 2-1.
Top three: Eskilstuna United (40), Rosengard (38), Pitea (32)