Women's Football

New leaders emerge while favourites falter

Seattle Reign's Jess Fishlock celebrates
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While women’s leagues around the world have long since returned to normal after the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015, Chelsea and Rosengard seem to be struggling to rediscover their rhythm. With the Blues slipping down the table in England, Rosengard have now gone three matches without a win in the Damallsvenskan. FIFA.com brings you all the latest from the women’s game.

*Sweden: Rosengard running into difficulties *Events have not been proceeding smoothly for Swedish champions Rosengard lately. Marta and her star-studded side’s 2-2 draw with Kopparbergs/Goteborg signalled their third successive game without a win. “I’m satisfied with the performance, as we managed to play courageously and kept the ball well,” Goteborg coach Stefan Rehn said after the encounter, “but I’m not satisfied with the result. It’s frustrating that they were still able to equalise at the end.” Natasa Andonova drew the holders level in the 90th minute after Elin Rubensson (51’) and Marlene Sjoberg (78’) had previously put Goteborg ahead, with Kirsten van de Ven scoring Rosengard’s first goal in the 59th minute.

The champions’ closest rivals Linkoping were unable to take advantage of the struggles of their rivals. Coach Martin Sjogren’s side lost 2-0 to Pitea to leave them one point adrift of Rosengard, with Elin Johansson and Pauline Hammarlund firing Pitea to their fourth successive victory. In contrast, Eskilstuna United did not miss their chance, defeating Hammarby 3-1 on Monday to oust Rosengard at the top of the table. Cameroon midfielder Gaelle Enganamouit scored all three of Eskilstuna’s goals.

Top three: Eskilstuna United (24 points), Rosengard (23), Linkopings (22)

USA: Seattle take the lead
Seattle Reign once again demonstrated their formidable home form in front of a crowd of 6,303 at the Memorial Stadium, beating Portland Thorns 3-0 to climb to the summit of the NWSL. Jessica Fishlock found the target while Beverly Yanez scored a brace past Thorns goalkeeper Nadine Angerer to ensure victory. Seattle won the reverse fixture in Portland 1-0 just four days earlier thanks to Kim Little’s strike.

Elsewhere, Chicago Red Stars were forced to give up their top spot after a 1-1 draw with Washington Spirit. Christen Press gave the Illinois side a first-half lead before Crystal Dunn equaliser with just seven minutes of the match remaining. Houston Dash were once again able to count on World Cup star Carli Lloyd’s goalscoring prowess in a 1-0 win over Western New York Flash.

Top three: Seattle Reign (27), Chicago Red Stars (26), Washington Spirit (21)

England: Chelsea on the slide
Chelsea have failed to gain any momentum since the resumption of the English league, slipping to third place in the WSL table. The Blues followed up their surprising 4-0 defeat at the hands of Sunderland by losing 2-1 to Manchester City in front of their home crowd. “I can’t tell you how big the win was,” said Toni Duggan, who opened the scoring for the visitors. “If we had lost today then we would have been out of it [the title race].”

Meanwhile Sunderland continued their fine run of form with a resounding 4-1 victory against Bristol Academy – their third successive win. A brace from Bethany Mead and a goal apiece from Stephanie Bannon and Emma Kelly lifted the Wearsiders into pole position.

Top three: Sunderland Ladies, Arsenal Ladies (both 18), Chelsea Ladies (17)

Japan: Still all to play for
INAC Kobe Leonessa’s star-studded ensemble secured another vital victory in their battle for the championship, protecting their league position with a narrow 2-1 win against Elfen Saitama. In contrast, arch-rivals NTV Beleza suffered their first defeat of the season by losing 1-0 to Albirex Niigata and how have Vegalta Sendai breathing down their necks after their 3-2 triumph over Urawa Reds. The stage is set for a fascinating title race over the next few weeks.

Top three: INAC Kobe Leonessa (34), NTV Beleza, Vegalta Sendai (both 30)

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