A remarkable unbeaten run for French queens Lyon came to a shuddering last in the UEFA Women’s Champions League as the quarter-final participants were determined with Turbine Potsdam earning an unforgettable win. Elsewhere there are familiar faces at the top in Australia, while there was a change at the summit in Belgium/Netherlands.
UEFA Women’s Champions League: Potsdam joy, Lyon anguish
Turbine Potsdam secured one of the more memorable wins in the history of European women’s club competition with a memorable away-goals win over Lyon, finalists for the last four seasons and unbeaten at home in more than seven years. After a 1-0 home loss, Turbine were left dangling over the precipice following Camille Abily’s early goal for the home side in Lyon. However, Stefanie Draws pulled a goal back before half-time and Maren Mjelde converted a penalty midway through the second half as Potsdam avenged their defeat by Lyon in the 2012 semi-final. “We dominated physically, but we were very clumsy technically,” was the verdict of Lyon coach Patrice Lair.
Among the other teams into the last-eight are holders Wolfsburg, 2007 winners Arsenal and first-time quarter-finalists, Barcelona, Birmingham City and Austrians SV Neulengbach. Italian champs Torres narrowly advanced at the expense of Russia’s Rossiyanka 2-1 on aggregate thanks to goals from star forwards Pamela Conti and Patrizia Panico. Rounding out the line-up are Sweden’s Tyreso who eased past Denmark’s Fortuna Hjorring 6-1 on aggregate.
Australia: Duo remain perfect
Sydney FC and Canberra United, winners of the past two titles, have made the early running and are the only two teams with 100 per cent records after two rounds. Reigning champions Sydney hit four goals without reply against Newcastle Jets, with English striker Jodie Taylor netting twice. Sitting alongside Taylor at the top of the goalscorers ladder with three goals is the prolific Michelle Heyman who scored, along with American Stephanie Ochs, as Canberra eased past Western Sydney Wanderers. Two-time champs Brisbane Roar returned to winning ways with a 3-0 win at Perth Glory, however their star recruit – Germany goalkeeper Nadine Angerer – was forced from the field early on with a hamstring complaint.
Top three: Sydney FC, Canberra United (both 6 points), Brisbane Roar, Perth Glory, Melbourne Victory (all 3)
Belgium/Netherlands: Change at the top
Twente, last year’s maiden champions of the Be/Ne league – a 15-team competition featuring teams from Belgium and the Netherlands - edged clear at the summit thanks to a spanking 7-0 win over Antwerp. Ellen Jansen’s hat-trick helped propel Twente two goals clear of Standard Liege who had to make do with a 2-0 win over Anderlecht. PSV/FC Eindhoven lost a share of top spot after tumbling to a 2-0 defeat at Ajax. Heerenveen’s Vivianne Miedema continues to grab many of the headlines with the striker having netted again on the weekend for a tally of 21 goals, a staggering 11 clear of her closest pursuers.
Top three: FC Twente, Standard Liege (both 23), PSV/FC Eindhoven (20)
New Zealand: Northern, Capital into play-offs
Two-time defending champions Northern Football and Capital Football have secured passage to the finals series with a match to spare. Northern maintained their place at the head of the table by handing Mainland Pride their first loss of the competition, earning a 3-1 comeback win in Christchurch. Capital Football moved into second place with a resounding 6-0 win over Football South, with U-20 international Emma Rolston scoring a second-half hat-trick, taking her to the top of the league’s golden boot standings with eight for the campaign.
Top three: Northern Football (15), Capital Football (13), Mainland Pride (11)