Divergent fortunes for European finalists
There were vastly differing fortunes for the UEFA Women’s Champions League finalists with Lyon’s grab for silverware continuing unabated in France, while 1. FFC Frankfurt were forced to watch as Bayern Munich claimed breakthrough success in Germany. Meanwhile, action finally recommenced in the USA despite the WPS remaining in hiatus. Finally, FIFA.com’s weekly review of women’s club football visits Denmark, where Brondby are closing on yet another title.
Germany: Trophy time in Bavaria
Bayern Munich did what their male counterparts were unable to do at the weekend by being crowned national cup champions. Bayern Munich defied the league standings to defeat record champions 1.FFC Frankfurt and earn their maiden German Cup, and first major title since winning the league 36 years ago. Two second-half goals from Sarah Hagen and Ivana Rudelic proved enough to see off the favourites in front of over 15,000 spectators at the Rhein Energie Stadion in Cologne. Frankfurt coach Sven Kahlert, who described Bayern’s surprise triumph as “well deserved”, must now try and put his players in a positive frame of mind for the midweek UEFA Women’s Champions League final to be held in, of all places, Munich.
France: Lyon eye trifecta
Lyon were given a fright by a hard-working Montpellier before winning a fourth French Women’s Cup with what they hope will be the first part of a historic treble. Forward Lotta Schelin was the goalscoring hero for Lyon, with the Swede’s early double setting up the victory. Patrice Lair’s side will have the opportunity to retain their European crown this Thursday against Frankfurt. With two rounds remaining on the domestic front Lyon sit in second, three points behind Juvisy, but with a match in hand and a vastly superior goal difference. The pair will meet in a fortnight in a contest that seems certain to decide the destiny of the title.
USA: Elite spread to new frontiers
The one-year absence of the Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) has seen USA’s elite players spread far and wide across several leagues. One such competition – the Women’s Premier Soccer League Elite (WPSL Elite) - kicked-off its inaugural season on Thursday. The eight-club league is based in the nation’s east and features three former WPS sides in Boston Breakers, Western New York Flash and Chicago Red Stars. Boston Breakers, for whom USA Kristine Lilly is assistant coach, won the season opener 3-0 against ASA Chesapeake Charge, with Veronica Napoli claiming the distinction of being the league’s maiden goalscorer. Last year’s WPS champions Western New York Flash opened with a 4-1 victory against FC Indiana, with Spanish international Adriana Santamaria Martin hitting a hat-trick.
Denmark: Capital club on the verge
Brondby edged closer to retaining their title on Saturday with a 1-1 draw at nearest challenger Fortuna Hjorring as the Championship play-offs continued. After losing their three previous matches against Brondby, Fortuna finally got something off the capital club but remain six points off the pacesetters. American Tiffany Weimer equalised with five minutes remaining for Fortuna, with Australian striker Michelle Heyman opening the scoring shortly beforehand. Brondby and Fortuna have shared the past ten Danish league championships dating back to a 2001 win by Odense. Skovbakken sit a point shy of second-placed Fortuna with the latter defeated 2-0 by BSF on the back of a Louise Priergaard double.
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