It proved to be a milestone weekend for the traditional big guns in Germany and Australia. Two of the three genuine title contenders crashed in Germany, while the record books were rewritten Down Under. The title race remains alive in Japan after the competition’s elite club sides, featuring many stars of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup™, could not be separated. And the same is true in Denmark, where the trio of teams at the top continued their winning ways amid a flurry of goals.
Germany’s Frauen Bundesliga: Favourites stunned as Frankfurt cruise
Germany’s elite trio of FFC Frankfurt, and FCR Duisburg had not lost a single match between them in the opening seven rounds of the season. However, round eight proved to be one of shocks with only five-time champions Turbine Potsdam maintaining their unbeaten status. Last year’s UEFA Women’s Champions League finalists cruised to a 4-0 victory at Bayern Munich thanks to a treble from Anonman. The Equatorial Guinea star is out in front in the race to be crowned the competition’s leading goalscorer. Frankfurt’s road trip was not so memorable as they went down 1-0 at Freiburg courtesy of Kerstin Boschert’s late winner. Duisburg’s defeat was even more surprising as SC Bad Neuenahr collected their first win of the campaign, with New Zealand international Sarah Gregorius bagging both goals.
Top three: Turbine Potsdam (24 points), FFC Frankfurt (21), FCR Duisburg (19)
Denmark’s Elitedivisionen: Momentum maintained at the summit
Denmark’s competition is mirroring that of Germany’s, with three teams breaking clear of the pack. However, in the Danes' case, their elite trio are maintaining a relentless winning streak, which has fourth-placed OB Odense 13 points off the summit before the half-way mark has been reached. Brondby and Fortuna Hjorring, who have won the last ten titles between them, share top spot with the former in the ascendency due only to goal difference. A point off the pace are Skovbakken, who downed Velje with seven unanswered goals. Fortuna cruised to a 5-0 win against Kolding as American Megan Manthey bagged a treble. Brondby were dealt the toughest obstacle of the trio, winning 3-1 at Taastrup, with Lisa Munk scoring a brace.
Top three: Brondby (34 points), Fortuna Hjorring (34), Skovbakken (33)
Australia’s W-League: All change Down Under
It was a weekend of firsts in Australia as Canberra United and Newcastle Jets claimed first and second with victories over traditional competition heavyweights Sydney FC and Brisbane Roar. It was the first time the latter pair – who have won all three previous editions of the competition – had both lost on the same weekend, and the round also marked the first time neither have featured in the top two positions on the ladder. Canberra have a perfect record after three rounds, with an Ashleigh Sykes goal enough to see off Sydney on their home turf. The Jets also have a perfect record, albeit having played only two matches, although their victory was far more dramatic. Down with 20 minutes remaining, Lisa De Vanna scored twice from the penalty spot to sink Brisbane 3-2 and collect a second brace in as many weeks for her new club.
Top three: Canberra United (9 points); Newcastle Jets (6). Sydney FC (4)
Japan’s Nadeshiko League: All to play for after summit stalemate
All eyes were on the highly anticipated top-of-the-table meeting between INAC Leonessa and NTV Beleza with the former left well-placed following the 1-1 draw. Leonessa’s Nahomi Kawasumi opened the scoring early in the contest, in a match where victory would have sealed first place in the 16-round competition. However, irrepressible teen starlet Mana Iwabuchi equalised midway through the second half. Nevertheless, Leonessa need just three points from their remaining two matches, with Beleza a point adrift having played a game more.
Top three: INAC Leonessa (36 points), NTV Beleza (35), Urawa Red Diamonds (27)