Women's Football

League queens crowned, big guns fire

FIFA.com’s weekly wrap of women’s domestic football looks at Spain, as an enormous crowd took in Barcelona’s stunning last-gasp title win, and Italy, where a familiar name again adorns the league trophy. A fascinating season finale is looming in Germany, while at the other end of the spectrum early-season jostling is as intense as ever in USA’s new national league, with Sydney Leroux claiming a niche in the record books.

*Spain: Thrilling finale brings Bilbao fans out in force *Mexico international Kenti Robles scored a goal that will live long in the memory as Barcelona secured the league crown in stunning fashion, with a 2-1 win at Athletic Bilbao allowing the* Blaugrana* to leapfrog their rivals on the final day of the season. Over 25,000 were on hand at San Mames to see Athletic - who needed only a draw - break a six-year title drought, but instead they were pipped by Barcelona for the second year in succession. An early strike from Melani Serrano had the Catalans on their way but Eli Ibarra equalised with the last kick of the half, only for Robles to score with a title-winning strike 18 minutes from full time. It was a cruel end for Athletic who suffered just their second defeat of the season and who had led the table for long periods.
*Top three: Barcelona (76 points), Athletic Bilbao (74), Atletico Madrid (68) *

*USA: Leroux fires, Portland continue momentum *Portland Thorns maintained their early season form in the inaugural edition of the new USA national league with a 2-1 win over Washington Spirit to take a three-point lead at the summit. An Alex Morgan penalty and a Nikki Washington strike helped Portland home, as did a string of saves from Canada international goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc in front of a full house in Maryland. Western New York Flash, winners of the final Women’s Pro Soccer season in 2011, ended Sky Blue FC’s perfect record with a 2-1 victory thanks to goals from Adriana Martin and Abby Wambach. The big winners of the weekend were Boston Breakers who overpowered Chicago Red Stars, with 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup adidas Golden Ball and Shoe winner Sydney Leroux claiming the league’s first-ever hat-trick.
*Top three: Portland Thorns (10), Boston Breakers, FC Kansas City (both 7) *

*Germany: Wolfsburg title celebrations put on hold *Dethroned champions Turbine Potsdam have forced Wolfsburg to wait until the final week of the season to claim their maiden league title. The Berlin side inflicted just a third league defeat of the campaign on Die Wolfinnen in the penultimate round, with first-half strikes from Natasa Andonova and teenager Pauline Bremer the difference. Three points adrift, but with a vastly inferior goal difference, are 1.FFC Frankfurt who edged out SC 07 Bad Neuenahr thanks to a lone strike from the in-form Kerstin Garefrekes. Now, four years after the men’s team from the small Lower Saxony city achieved their breakthrough Bundesliga success, UEFA Women’s Champions League finalists Wolfsburg are set to wrap up the title in front of their own fans next weekend when Bad Neuenahr visit. Turbine and Frankfurt, meanwhile, will continue their joust for the remaining UEFA Women’s Champions League berth.
*Top three: Wolfsburg (50), Frankfurt (47), Turbine Potsdam (46) *

*Italy: Sardinian joy again *Torres have been crowned Italian queens for the fourth time in succession and seventh time overall. A final-day top-of-the-table 1-1 draw against Tavagnacco sealed a three-point winning margin, but the Sardinian side had effectively claimed the title in the penultimate round thanks to a healthy goal difference. It was another triumph too for veteran Rossoblu striker Patrizia Panico, whose tally of 35 goals at better than one per match, secured a remarkable 12th top goalscorer award of a glittering career.
Top three: Torres (81), Tavagnacco (78), Brescia (70)

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