Canberra, Universitario claim glory, Atletico and Braga buoyant
In a grandstand finish Down Under, Canberra United emerged as the Australian W-League regular-season winners by leapfrogging Sydney FC. Meanwhile, it remains tantalisingly poised in Portugal, where Sporting Braga returned to the summit of the Liga Allianz, where the lead has been changing hands regularly. The Atletico Madrid juggernaut shows no signs of slowing down over in Spain, where the league leaders extended their advantage after capitalising on slip-ups by the chasing pack. Last but not least, Universitario de Deportes were crowned champions in Peru. FIFA.com recaps the women's club action from the last seven days.
Spain: Atletico Madrid tighten grip at the top Atletico, who are still unbeaten, produced another superb performance to cruise past Zaragoza 5-1. However, the biggest story on Matchday 17 was not another resounding victory for Las Rojiblancas, who lead the way on 45 points, but rather what happened behind them. Barcelona, their closest challengers, were upset by Santa Teresa and fell four points off the pace, while third-placed Levante and fourth-placed Valencia both lost too, squandering the opportunity to close the gap on the Catalans.
Top three: Atletico Madrid (45 points), Barcelona (41), Levante (35)
Australia: Premiership decided, foursome primed for final Sydney FC's hopes of topping the table were dashed on the last matchday of the regular season, as they succumbed to Adelaide United on Sunday 29 January. Following that encounter with bated breath were Canberra United, who had thrashed Melbourne Victory 5-1 the previous day to move a point clear at the summit, meaning that a Sky Blues slip-up would seal the premiership (regular-season title) for the capital club. Their wishes were granted and, to add to the joy in Canberra, Ashleigh Sykes scooped the competition's Golden Boot with 12 goals, of which a staggering 11 came in a hot streak in the last seven rounds of games. Another side who benefited from Sydney FC's defeat were Perth Glory, who overcame Western Sydney Wanderers to snatch second, with only goal difference separating them from top spot ahead of the four-team finals series.
Semi-finals Canberra United (1) – Melbourne City (4) Perth Glory (2) – Sydney FC (3)
Portugal: Sporting Braga back in pole position Braga knew the score going into Liga Allianz Matchday 14: beat Ferreirense away on Sunday and they would once more be league leaders. That outcome never looked in doubt after they raced into a three-goal lead in the first half, helped by a Vanessa Marques brace, and they eventually prevailed 4-0. The result takes Braga back above Sporting, who were not in action this weekend having already played their fixture from this matchday at an earlier date, and so could only watch on from Lisbon, powerless to prevent themselves being overhauled.
Top three: Sporting Braga (40), Sporting (38), Valadares Gaia (32)
Peru: Hat-trick for Universitario de Deportes Universitario reasserted their authority by triumphing in the Peruvian championship, held from 23 to 27 January, for the third straight year. Las Merengues kicked off their campaign with an 11-0 rout of Universidad de Piura. They followed that up with a 4-1 win over Arequipa outfit Majes and then booked their berth in the final by dispatching Trujillo 5-1. An equally one-sided title decider ended with the same scoreline, with strikes from Emily Flores, Alondra Vilchez and Even Pizango, plus a Pierina Nunez brace, securing a hat-trick of crowns for the Lima-based club. Universitario will now go on to represent the country in this year's Copa Libertadores Femenina.