As Wolfsburg and Lyon put one foot in the final of the UEFA Women’s Champions League, Bayern Munich closed in on the defence of their Bundesliga title. Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, Washington Spirit’s latest league campaign is off to a strong start in the USA. FIFA.com brings you all the latest women’s football news.
Wolfsburg and Lyon on verge of final
A UEFA Women’s Champions League showdown between the competition’s two-time winners from Germany and the French champions is all but certain after both sides recorded convincing victories in their semi-final first legs to give them a clear advantage heading into the return fixtures. Isabel Kerschowski, Alexandra Popp, Babett Peter and Swiss star Ramona Bachmann provided the goals as the She-Wolves comfortably brushed aside Frankfurt 4-0.
“Hats off to the team for that display,” Popp told the club website after the match. “We gave it everything from the first minute and just kept on going. Everything went perfectly to plan. The atmosphere inside the stadium was fantastic too, with everyone behind us. Now we need to regroup so we can repeat that performance on Sunday.”
Lyon beat Paris Saint-Germain by an even greater margin, routing their league rivals 7-0. Braces from Ada Hegerberg and Eugenie Le Sommer and additional strikes from Camille Abily, Louisa Necib and Lotta Schelin powered OL to victory.
USA: Washington Spirit hit the ground running
Washington Spirit have made a flying start to the USA’s new NWSL (National Women’s Soccer League) season. Alexandra ‘Ali’ Krieger and Diana Matheson fired the capital city club to a 2-1 win over Sky Blue FC to send them to the top of the table with a maximum six points from their opening two games.
Meanwhile FC Kansas City secured their first point of the new campaign by battling to a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Portland Thorns. Although Shea Groom put Kansas ahead in the first half, coach Vlatko Andonovski’s side spent much of the second half without their goalscorer, after picking up a second yellow card. Portland were unable to fully exploit their numerical advantage and failed to find the winning goal after Lindsey Horan drew the Thorns level in the 78th minute.
Orlando Pride could hardly have imagined a better outcome as they beat Houston Dash 3-1 in front of a 23,403-strong crowd at the Orlando Citrus Bowl, with all four goals coming after half-time. Andressa’s own goal handed the hosts a 1-0 lead and paved the way for Lianne Sanderson and Alex Morgan to treble their side’s advantage, before the Brazilian midfielder snatched a consolation strike for the visitors in a match that finished 3-1. FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year and Houston Dash star Carli Lloyd was substituted just 12 minutes into the game after suffering a knee injury.
Top three: Washington Spirit (6 points), Portland Thorns (4), Seattle Reign (3)
Germany: Bayern Munich’s title defence almost complete
While Wolfsburg have been imperious in Europe, Bayern Munich have been striding towards the successful defence of their Bundesliga crown. In the league’s 19th round of matches, the Bavarians won 3-0 against Sand, who beat them 2-1 in the semi-finals of the German Cup earlier this month. Vivianne Miedema, Melanie Behringer and Sara Dabritz all found the target for coach Thomas Worle’s side to leave them just a point away from championship glory with three games left to play.
UEFA Women’s Champions League semi-finalists Frankfurt and Wolfsburg were also back in league action on Wednesday. The side from Hesse lost 2-0 to Freiburg, while the She-Wolves downed Essen 3-1. Meanwhile, the fate of one team has already been decided at the bottom of the table, with Koln’s relegation confirmed after a 4-0 loss to Hoffenheim left them a full 15 points from safety.
Top three: Bayern Munich (50), Wolfsburg (41), Frankfurt (37)
Sweden: Rosengard and Linkopings leading the way
Where Rosengard lead, Linkopings follow. The reigning champions got the second round of Damallsvenskan matches underway early on Wednesday evening as Ella Masar McLeod, Ebba Wieder and Marta steered their team to a 3-0 win over Djurgarden and maintained their perfect start to the new season. Meanwhile Linkopings comfortably defeated Kristianstad 4-1 to draw level with Marta and her team-mates in the standings, while last season’s runners-up Eskilstuna United lost 1-0 to Vittsjo.
Top three: Linkopings, Rosengard (both 6), Kvarnsvedens (4)