A fascinating weekend in women’s club football was capped by a dramatic maiden title win for Brescia in Italy, while in USA Seattle Reign seem unstoppable although 2013 high-achievers Western New York Flash and Kansas City are finally hitting their straps. A dream cup final looms in France, while the tension continues to mount in Germany as the league’s elite trio continued their winning form.
*USA: Seattle continue reign, big guns bounce back *Seattle Reign maintained their perfect record with a sixth win from as many starts, but they needed eleventh-hour intervention to see off champions Portland Thorns in front of 14,000 spectators in the north-west derby. Scottish striker Kim Little maintained her recent form with the only goal of the game a minute from full time for her fifth of the campaign. It was perhaps unsurprising that this was a low scoring affair with FIFA Women's World Player of the Year Nadine Angerer defending the Thorns’ goal, while USA’s high-profile shotstopper Hope Solo was busy at the other end. Western New York Flash jumped into second as they eased past Sky Blue FC thanks to Abby Wambach’s double; her first goals of the campaign. However, it is Amy Rodriguez who tops the goalscorers chart with a brace in the 2-1 win over Washington Spirit taking her tally to six, and helping Kansas City into third.
*Top three: Seattle Reign (18 points), Western New York Flash, Kansas City (both 10) *
*Italy: Brescia topple Torres from throne *Brescia claimed the league crown for the first time after a stunning conclusion to the Serie A season featuring the two remaining contenders. The Lombardy club hosted Sardinia-based Torres – winners of the past four titles – knowing just a point would suffice on the final day of the 30-match campaign. Under the watchful eye of national coach Antonio Cabrini, a tense encounter finally sprang to life in the dying stages with Martina Rosucci opening the scoring for Brescia, only for the evergreen Patrizia Panico to level almost immediately. However, former Italy U-20 star Elena Linari netted an injury-time winner from the penalty spot for Brescia to conclude a memorable season finale. Italy striker Panico, nevertheless, continues to defy the ravages of time with her 42 goals enough for a 13th *Capocannoniere *crown as the league’s top scorer, despite now aged 39. Fellow prolific *Azzurre *striker Melania Gabbiadini finished the season on a high with a hat-trick as Verona edged local rivals Tavagnacco by the odd goal in nine.
*Top three: Brescia (87), Torres (82), Tavagnacco (78) *
*Germany: As you were *
The three-way battle for supremacy is little closer to being determined with the leading trio – Frankfurt, Turbine Potsdam and Wolfsburg – all in the winner’s circle once again. Frankfurt maintained their slim grip on top spot following a comfortable 4-0 win over the visiting Duisburg. Turbine needed to come-from-behind for a 3-1 victory at Essen, while Wolfsburg endured some nervous late moments before holding off Freiburg with their 3-2 win based around a double from Selina Wagner. Both the chasing duo have a match in hand although Wolfsburg will no doubt be distracted by their looming date in Lisbon when they will seek to retain their UEFA Women’s Champions League crown.
*Top three: 1.FFC Frankfurt, Turbine Potsdam (both 47), Wolfsburg (43) *
*France: And then there were two *
A dream French Cup final is in store after league front-runners Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain both comfortably won through to the decider. PSG were the most impressive victors with a stunning second half display to rout city rivals Juvisy 6-0, with Marie-Laure Delie bagging a treble and Lindsey Horan scoring twice. Lyon eased past Soyaux with three unanswered second half goals to set up yet another shot at silverware for Patrice Lair’s charges.