With the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament just around the corner, several national teams have already begun their preparations – but many leagues around the globe are still buzzing with activity. While Portland Thorns suffered their first defeat of the season in the land of the reigning world champions, it is business as usual in Sweden, and Manchester City continue to top the table in England despite not even playing last weekend.
USA: Closing the gap
All good things must come to an end eventually, something Portland Thorns found out to their cost as they suffered their first defeat of the season at the hands of FC Kansas City. Tiffany McCarty and Shea Groom managed to break down the best defence in North America to lead their team to a 2-1 victory, with Groom scoring the goals while McCarty provided the assists. Kathryn Williamson returned to the pitch for the first time since April as a 61st-minute substitute, scoring a consolation strike for the Thorns 15 minutes later.
Both Western New York Flash and Washington Spirit made the most of the opportunity to close the gap to the pacesetters from Portland. Flash emerged triumphant in a thrilling, close-fought 3-2 win over Seattle Reign, with a brace from New Zealand’s Abby Erceg and another goal from Lynn Williams paving the way to victory, while Naho Kawasumi and Rumi Utsugi scored for their opponents. Fans had fewer goals to cheer in the encounter between Washington Spirit and Chicago Red Stars as Spirit secured a 2-0 win.
For the second week running, teams had to cope without their USA internationals, who continued their preparations for Rio by narrowly beating South Africa 1-0 in a friendly on 9 July. The league will pause for a summer break at the end of this month.
Top three: Portland Thorns (26 points), Western New York Flash (24), Washington Spirit (23)
England: Arsenal keeping pace
After eight matches in the FA Women’s Super League, Arsenal Ladies’ tally stands at four wins, two draws and two defeats. England international Jordan Nobbs took on a starring role as Pedro Martinez Losa’s side notched up victory number four against Notts County Ladies on Sunday, setting up the first goal for Danielle van de Donk before scoring the second herself. The result moves the team from North London up to third place with 14 points. Meanwhile Chelsea missed the chance to oust Manchester City at the top of the table with a 1-1 draw at home to Birmingham City. Freda Ayisi put the visitors in front just after the break only for Eni Aluko to level the scores five minutes later.
Top three: Manchester City (20), Chelsea Ladies (19), Arsenal Ladies (14)
Sweden: Linkopings come from behind to win
Anybody waiting for one of the Damallsvenskan’s leading teams to slip up would have been left disappointed once again last weekend. Rosengard kicked off the action with a resounding 4-0 victory over newly promoted Kvarnsvedens, having recorded a similarly comfortable 6-1 win in the reverse fixture a week earlier. A brace from Ella Masar, another strike from Lieke Martens and a converted penalty from Marta left the crowd in no doubt as to who ruled the roost.
On Sunday it was the turn of Linkopings to continue their winning ways – if only by the narrowest of margins – by beating Pitea 3-2 at home. Elin Bragnum gave the visitors from northern Sweden a 2-0 lead after just ten minutes before Magdalena Ericsson gave the hosts a foothold in the game just before half-time. Fridolina Rolfo and Pernille Mosegaard-Harder then found the target in the second half to snatch the three points for Linkopings.
Top three: Rosengard (34), Linkopings (34), Pitea (18)
In other leagues
After Iceland’s men’s national team caused a sensation and captured the hearts of fans at UEFA EURO 2016, we decided it was high time to take a look at the country’s women’s league. With seven rounds of matches complete in the ten-team Urvalsdeild Kvenna, Breidablik currently lead the standings after defeating closest rivals Stjarnan 1-0, while Reykjavik side Valur moved up to third by beating IA Akraness by the same scoreline. In Norway’s Toppserien, meanwhile, Avaldsnes usurped LSK Kvinner at the league summit with a 4-1 win over their championship rivals from Lillestrom.