Top dogs tighten their grip
© AFP

In the German Women’s Bundesliga, 1. FFC Frankfurt roared to their latest victory and cemented their place at the top of the standings with a comfortable win over promoted side 1899 Hoffenheim. Mainland Pride sealed their place in the final in New Zealand, while Olympique Lyon remain unbeaten in France.

Germany: Frankfurt stay top
Frankfurt appear to have secured top spot over the winter break after romping to an 8-2 triumph over promoted outfit Hoffenheim on the penultimate matchday of the year. A Kerstin Garefrekes brace, as well as strikes from Kozue Ando, Melanie Behringer, Bianca Schmidt, Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic, Celia Sasic and Asuna Tanaka helped Frankfurt to victory, while Leonie Keilbach and Martina Moser were on target for Hoffenheim.

Second-placed Turbine Potsdam remain hot on the leaders’ heels, however, after a 3-1 win at division newcomers BV Cloppenburg. Defending champions VfL Wolfsburg are gradually creeping up on the top two, with goals from Martina Muller and Nadine Kessler handing the Wolfinnen a 2-0 success against SGS Essen. Bayer Leverkusen picked up three valuable points in the fight against the drop, moving up to eighth place in the standings thanks to a 5-1 thrashing of SC Freiburg.

Top three: 1. FFC Frankfurt (23 points), Turbine Potsdam (20), VfL Wolfsburg (18)

France: Lyon lead the way
Olympique Lyon’s participation in the UEFA Women’s Champions League may be over for this season, but domestically coach Patrice Lair’s charges are still the team to beat. Victory was never in doubt against Montpellier, as goals from Wendie Renard, Camille Abily and a Megan Rapinoe double fired them to a 4-1 win, with Viviane Asseyi grabbing a late consolation. The result means Lyon have won all ten of their league matches so far, putting them in pole position to lift the title once more. Juvisy moved up to second spot with a 4-2 thumping of Henin-Beaumont, while Paris Saint-Germain knocked Montpellier down to fourth place after sweeping Rodez aside 7-0.

Top three: Olympique Lyon (40), Juvisy FCF (34), Paris Saint-Germain (33)

Australia: Brisbane and Melbourne keep the pace
In the Australian W-League, Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory Women reeled in leading duo Sydney FC and Canberra United on Matchday 3. Katrina Gorry netted a hat-trick as Brisbane beat Western Sydney Wanderers 4-1, with Germany international goalkeeper Nadine Angerer confined to the bench for the victors. The European Women’s Player of the Year had picked up a thigh injury in the team’s previous fixture.

Melbourne recorded a 3-1 away win at Perth Glory, while Adelaide United defeated Newcastle Jets by the same scoreline in Sunday’s third game. It was the latter’s third reverse of the campaign and leaves them bottom of the standings.

Top three: Sydney FC, Canberra United, Brisbane Roar (all on 6 points)

New Zealand: Final showdown between Mainland and Northern
Mainland Pride booked their place in the ASB Women’s League final against two-time defending champions Northern Football after Emily Jensen and Belinda van Noorden scored to down Capital Football 2-0. Northern automatically qualified for the title-decider after finishing the seven-round competition in top spot, while Mainland ended up four points further behind in third. The final will take place in Auckland on Sunday 8 December.