Manchester City celebrate, Potsdam in control
The battle for the NWSL play-offs is finally over after Portland Thorns, Western New York Flash, Washington Spirit and Chicago Red Stars secured their places on the last day of the regular season. Elsewhere, the title race remains exciting in Sweden as Potsdam bask at the top of the table in Germany. FIFA.com takes a look at the latest news from the world of women’s club football.
Germany: Potsdam maintain commanding lead The new Bundesliga season could hardly have started better for Turbine Potsdam, who currently top the table after finishing down in seventh in the previous campaign. While coach Matthias Rudolph’s side beat bottom-placed Borussia Monchengladbach 3-1 on 25 September to record their third win in three games, reigning champions Bayern Munich suffered another setback. The Bavarians lost 2-1 to DFB Women’s Cup holder Wolfsburg, leaving them with just four points so far this season. Lara Dickenmann and Alexandra Popp led the She-Wolves to their first-ever victory over Thomas Worle’s team. With Frankfurt also struggling to find their feet this term after failing to get the better of Essen in a 2-2 draw, Freiburg have emerged as Potsdam’s closest rivals after defeating Hoffenheim 2-1 to climb to second place on goal difference. Top three: Turbine Potsdam (9 points), SC Freiburg, SGS Essen (both 7)
USA: Semi-final line-up confirmed Portland Thorns completed their strongest-ever NWSL regular season campaign with a 3-1 win over Sky Blue FC on 26 September. Twelve wins, five draws and just three defeats leaves the Thorns with a total of 41 points and the NWSL Shield for finishing at the top of the table at the end of the regular season. Their semi-final opponents will be Western New York Flash, who defeated Boston Breakers 4-0 to secure fourth place and a spot in the play-offs.
Washington Spirit and Chicago Red Stars will face each other in the other semi-final in a repeat of both teams’ most recent match. Red Stars beat Washington 3-1 last Saturday*, with Christen Press, Cara Walls and Sofia Huerta all finding the target for Chicago, while Crystal Dunn scored for Washington. The result meant Spirit had to content themselves with second place after conceding top spot to Portland.
The last four encounters will be played on 30 September as Washington Spirit take on Chicago Red Stars at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds and on 2 October as Portland Thorns meet Western New York Flash at Portland’s Providence Park, with the final to follow on 9 October. **Local time Final top four: Portland Thorns (41), Washington Spirit (39), Chicago Red Stars (33), Western New York Flash (32)
England: Manchester City clinch championship Manchester City made history this weekend by beating Chelsea 2-0 to secure their very first FA Women’s Super League title. Goals from Jill Scott and Toni Duggan steered coach Nick Cushing’s side towards their first league crown.
"It’s an amazing feeling,” goalscorer Duggan told the FAWSL website after the triumph. “A few of us have always come second best, but this year it’s our turn and it’s nice to be on the other end of it for once. Just looking around and seeing how happy everyone is makes it worth it. The support from the fans has been amazing and hopefully that will continue on to the big game we have next week.” Manchester City now face Birmingham City in the WSL Cup final on 2 October. Top three: Manchester City Women (41), Chelsea Ladies (31), Arsenal Ladies (23)
Sweden: Top teams play musical chairs The closing stages of the Damallsvenskan season could hardly be any more exciting. After Rosengard failed to break the deadlock in a goalless draw with Vittsjo, Linkopings’ hard-fought 2-0 win over Kristianstads moved them into top spot after the 16th round of matches, just one point ahead of their rivals. This situation remained unchanged after the next matchday as Linkopings beat Djurgarden 3-1, while Rosengard defeated Kristianstads 2-0. The leading pair will meet for a decisive top-of-the-table clash on 9 October. Top three: Linkopings (46), Rosengard (45), Eskilstuna United (30)
Other leagues It is a new season but a case of as you were in France, where Olympique Lyon sit atop the table with 15 goals under their belt after just two games. Coach Gerard Precheur’s side thrashed Soyaux 9-0 before scoring six times at ASPTT Albi without reply. Elsewhere, the Danish top flight’s only two unbeaten teams, Brondby and Fortuna Hjorring, drew 2-2, while in Spain Barcelona and Valencia lead the pack with nine points each after beating Real Sociedad and Fundacion Albacete 2-0 and 4-0 respectively in the latest round of matches.