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Wolfsburg and Lyon to battle for European crown
Goals were once again at a premium on Matchday 2 of the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) in the USA, with the second round of action picking up where the first left off: with a 1-1 draw. Olympique Lyon were far less goal-shy in the UEFA Champions League, securing their ticket to the final after a clear victory over FCF Juvisy. Patrice Lair’s charges will now face VfL Wolfsburg in the title decider. In the German Women’s Bundesliga, FFC Frankfurt moved up to second, while Tyreso are easing up through the gears in Sweden. FIFA.com rounds up the latest highlights from the world of women’s club football.
Germany: Frankfurt go second
Until recently, FFC Frankfurt’s chances of finishing second in the Bundesliga and securing the accompanying Champions League place appeared to have evaporated. Yet last weekend the side proved doubters wrong by recording a 5-2 victory in their first game under new coach Sascha Glass. Saskia Bartusiak, Tameka Butt, Dzsenifer Marozsan, Ana Maria Crnogorcevic and Kozue Ando were on target for the three-time continental champions, who moved above Turbine Potsdam with the victory. Potsdam lost ground after a 1-0 defeat away to SGS Essen, who continued their impressive form on home turf.
At the opposite end of the table FF USV Jena picked up a crucial win to take another step towards ensuring their top-flight survival. A 3-0 success over bottom club FSV Gutersloh means Jena are now 11 points clear of the drop zone.
Top three: VfL Wolfsburg (44 points), FFC Frankfurt (38), Turbine Potsdam (37)
USA: Portland remain unbeaten
After drawing their inaugural match in the NWSL, Portland Thorns celebrated their first win on Matchday 2. Christine Sinclair, Alex Morgan and Co beat Seattle Reign FC 2-1 to go top of the standings. Defender Marian Dougherty broke the deadlock shortly before half time and Morgan made it 2-0 within minutes of the restart. Yet despite sustained pressure, Portland failed to find the net again as efforts from Morgan and Allie Long missed their target before Jessica Fishlock reduced the deficit for Seattle.
FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Abby Wambach is yet to taste victory with Western New York Flash after being held to a 1-1 draw away to Washington Spirit. Both goals came in the closing stages, with Samantha Kerr putting the visitors in front before Diana Matheson equalised from the penalty spot.
Top three: Portland Thorns (4), Sky Blue FC (3), Washington Spirit (2)
Sweden: Marta and Tyreso on course
The new Damallsvenskan season could hardly have got off to a better start for Brazilian star Marta and Tyreso FF, who picked up a second victory in as many games. The defending champions’ 2-0 win over Vittsjo followed up a 1-0 triumph over Umea IK, in which Marta opened her account for the season. That defeat was doubly disappointing for Umea, as Emma Berglund damaged cruciate ligaments while chasing Marta and will now miss the rest of the season. The 24-year-old will also be unable to participate in the UEFA Women’s EURO 2013 on home soil. Tyreso currently top the standings, but FC Malmo have the chance to pull level in Tuesday’s game against Pitea IF.
Top three: Tyreso (6), KIF Orebro DFF, Kristianstads (both on 4)
Champions League: Wolfsburg and Lyon in final
The odds of VfL Wolfsburg and Olympique Lyon contesting the Champions League final were good even before their respective second leg semi-final ties against Arsenal LFC and Juvisy. After beating the record English champions 2-0 in London, goals from Selina Wagner and Nadine Kessler fired the Wolves to a 2-1 victory in the return leg in front of 8,173 spectators at the Volkswagen Arena. “If you could have scripted a day like this beforehand, this is probably what it would have been like,” coach Ralf Kellermann told the Wolfsburg website following the biggest achievement in the club’s history. “We had fantastic support with over 8,000 fans cheering us on right from the off. I’d like to say a big thank you to all of them. We saw what my team is capable of doing and their willingness to run. The team spirit and winning mentality they showed make me so proud.”
The Bundesliga leaders will meet Olympique Lyon in the title decider after the defending champions gave Juvisy no chance in an all-French semi-final. Patrice Lair’s side recorded a 3-0 win in the first leg before a 6-1 demolition in the return fixture ensured the team their chance to take the European crown for a fourth successive year.
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photo Cheltenham jockey club
14. March 224
photo Cheltenham Racecourse