FIFA.com reviews all the latest club news headlined by some high-level action in Europe with two big-name UEFA Women’s Champions League finalists determined. Shock scorelines continued unabated in USA and Japan, while the Italian season is heading for an epic finale.
UEFA Women's Champions League: Headline finale in store
A dream European final is in store next month in Lisbon with holders Wolfsburg to tackle Sweden’s Tyreso and their all-star line-up. The pair won through to the decider after finishing strongly to record impressive weekend wins over Turbine Potsdam and Birmingham City respectively. Tyreso were the first to book their ticket to Portugal eventually seeing off the resilient English side with a 3-0 win, following a scoreless opening leg. USA forward Christen Press netted twice, while Marta completed the scoring late on with the Brazilian superstar missing a penalty and Veronica Boquete hitting the woodwork in a dominant second-leg display. Birmingham, for their part, will take pride in their progress to the last-four, with all bar three of the squad hailing from the English midlands.
It was a gala occasion for women’s football in Germany on Sunday with over 10,000 present at the Vfl Wolfsburg Arena as the local side eventually prevailed 4-2 over Turbine in a high-quality contest. The defending German and continental champions were twice forced to come from behind as Alexandra Popp twice netted, with her second goal just before the interval putting Die Wolfinnen in front for the first time. Earlier Julia Simic and Genoveva Anonman had struck either side of Nadine Kessler's 17th-minute equaliser to put Potsdam in the ascendancy after the sides' first-leg scoreless stalemate, while veteran striker Martina Muller completed the scoring late on for the home side.
USA: Doubles in vogue as Seattle remain perfect
Last season’s strugglers Seattle Reign are the only team with a 100 per cent record after three rounds of the National Women’s Soccer League. Two first-half goals from Kim Little – including one from the penalty spot – proved enough to see off the challenge of the league’s newest club, Houston Dash. The Scot already has four goals for the season, though her weekend double was matched by both Portland Thorns’ striker Jessica McDonald and Boston Breakers’ English forward Lianne Sanderson. Portland hold down second after their 3-1 win over last year’s table-toppers Kansas City. In contrast Boston’s 3-2 victory over Sky Blue FC was their first of the campaign.
Top three: Seattle Reign (9 points), Portland Thorns (7), Washington Spirit (6)
Japan: New contenders continue to surprise
The shock results continued in Japan over the weekend with INAC Kobe Leonessa and NTV Beleza – who between them have won eight of the past nine league titles – both remaining winless to sit well off the pace after five rounds. Holders Leonessa needed a late goal to scramble a home draw with JEF United, while Beleza fared even worse suffering a 1-0 win home defeat to Okayama Belle Yunogo who leap-frogged their opponents into third. Urawa Red Diamonds remain top with a perfect record thanks to a tough 1-0 victory at Albirex Niigata.
Top three: Urawa Red Diamonds (15), Vegalta Sendai (12), Okayama Belle Yunogo (10)
Italy: New queens seek coronation
Brescia are within touching distance of their maiden Serie A title five years after first earning promotion to the top flight. Brescia’s 5-1 victory over Pordenone leaves them five points clear of Torres with two rounds remaining, although the Sardinians have a match in hand. The destiny of the league title could still come down the final round in a fortnight when Brescia host Torres with the latter seeking to maintain their four-year league domination.
Top three: Brescia (81), Torres (76), Tavagnacco (75)
photo Cheltenham jockey club
photo Cheltenham Racecourse