Duisburg claimed their third win of the season as Hoffenheim held Frankfurt to a draw, whilst Wolfsburg refreshed their hunt of title glorry and Potsdam regained the top spot in a busy weekend in the Frauen-Bundesliga.
Despite a number of good saves from Belgian international Justien Odeurs, the young keeper could only delay Sand’s first goal instead of completely preventing it, sprinting off of her line to close down but leaving too of her goal for Laura Feiersinger to aim at, the Austrian international slipping the ball under her.
The keeper left helpless fifteen minutes from time when Isabelle Meyer made it two, letting rip for over 35 yards, her looped effort coming back down to earth just inside of the far post. Jana Vojteková on hand to compound Jena’s misery one minute later, first to Odeurs’ parry to find the back of the net for the third time for Sand.
After a scrappy first-half the two teams went in at the break all square, the visitors with the better chances but a real lack of rhythm apparent across the pitch from both. With a 0-0 looming, Johanna Elsig opened the scoring three minutes after the restart, slipping away from her marker at a free kick, her neat header enough to beat Tinja-Riikka Korpela and exactly what Elise Kellond-Knight’s razor-sharp delivery had been asking for.
Smart work from Svenja Huth carved out the opportunity for the second, her ball on a plate for Felicitas Rauch intercepted by Nora Holstad Berge before it could reach the captain’s toe; Holstad only able to send the ball into her own net.
The hosts given a glimmer of hope just after the hour as Vivianne Miedema looked to connect with Verena Faißt’s dinked cross, tangling with Elsig on her way through, her attempted volley taking a final touch off of the defender before slipping beyond Lisa Schmitz’ outstretched glove.
Munich did well to rally during the latter stages of the match and were left frustrated when the referee waved away a strong penalty shout after Nicole Rolser and Elsig had tasselled for the ball in the box. Two late half-chances including Simone Laudehr’s stoppage time goal-bound header weren’t enough to best Schmitz and the Bavarian’s slipped to their second defeat of the season
The biggest surprise of the weekend took place at the Dietmar-Hopp-Stadion as the hosts came from two goals down to earn a hard-fought point against seven-time FBL champions, Frankfurt.
Despite a number of half-chances for the hosts during the first twenty minutes of the game it was Frankfurt who took the lead just after the mid-way point as Laura Störzel was nicely found in space by Jackie Groenen for the defender to slot the ball past Martina Tufekovic. It took just two minutes for the visitors to find a second as Mandy Islacker out-stretched a leg to prod Kathrin Hendrich’s ball across over the line.
1899 responded well and came back at the Frankfurters with a renewed sense of self after the break, slicing the deficit in half seven minutes after the restart when Leonie Pankratz came onto the ball 20 yards out before tucking it through the crowd in the box and finding Desirée Schumann’s far corner.
Restoring parity just after snuffing out an attempted counter from their opponents, Kristin Demann nicking the ball in midfield before setting Christine Schneider on her way with a smart through ball. The midfielder skipped through the defence and the offside to meet the ball in the box, striking low past Schumann to shock the visitors.
Frankfurt now down to seventh and losing even more ground on the top few, despite the point Hoffenheim were forced to drop a spot in the table after Duisburg leapfrogged them.
The hosts took the lead eleven minutes in after Sofia Nati managed to smuggle the ball across the line from close range, despite the best efforts of Romina Frommont, Pauline Dallmann, Sandra Starmanns and goalkeeper Christina Bellinghoven who all did their best to keep the shot out. A beautiful goal it was not, but it was a big step in the right direction for a Duisburg team keen to pull away from the stragglers at the bottom of the table – including Mönchengladbach who were still looking for their first point of the season.
With the game as open as any the visitors had played this term, Gladbach restored parity just before the half-time break when Nadja Kleinikel beat Julia Debitzki to an aerial ball, nodding backwards to flick the ball just past Lena Nuding. Heading towards their first point of the season, the visitors did well to hang on, riding their luck at a giant goal-mouth scuffle just after the break, Bellinghoven relieved to see Virginia Kirchberger’s driven effort from distance slip wide of her left upright.
The better team on the day, Duisburg found a winner eight minutes from time as Vanessa Wahlen nodded the ball across the goal and into her own net as she attempted to clear Kathleen Radtke’s hopeful ball at a scrappy corner.
The hosts got off to the perfect start when Lisa Schwab’s deflected effort from outside the box looped over Lisa Weiß and into the goal just two minutes into the game but from then on out it was all Essen, the visitors making sure to keep Anna Klink busy. Their diligent working paying off when Nicole Anyomi latched onto a long ball, carried it through the middle of the park before striking low to Klink’s right, the 16 year-old finding the bottom corner with ease.
The German youth international on hand to nudge the visitors in front two minutes after the break, using her pace to get beyond the two centre backs once again before rounding Klink and rolling the ball home.
Manjou Wilde made it three before the hour, with the defenders drawn towards the ball on the left, Wilde was free to spin around Jessica Wich before burying the ball in the far corner. The hosts starting to fall apart at the back, their job made even harder when Wich was sent off for a second yellow ten minutes later.
Irini Ioannidou on the scoresheet five minutes from time after confidently slotting her spot kick into the bottom left corner after a sloppy foul in the box, Charline Hartmann adding a fifth in extra time after a flowing move, Sara Doorsoun’s one-touch pass finding her in acres of space.
Looking to revitalise their title challenge, Wolfsburg hosted one of the pleasant surprise packages of this season, Freiburg – knowing nothing less than a win would do. Square and even at the mid-way point of the first-half, Lara Dickenmann nipped in front of Lina Magull to volley Tessa Wullaert’s looped cross under Laura Benkarth.
Unwilling to lose purchase in their hunt of the FBL title, Freiburg did all they could to work Almuth Schult fir the remainder of the game, repeatedly coming close throughout but just unable to find the right final ball to find a way though the defence.
Sarah Puntigam’s deft header in the last minute of normal time threatening to slip into the bottom corner but Schult on full alert to jump on the troublesome ball before Nilla Fischer missed her opportunity to seal the win as she cannoned the top of the bar from a corner moments later.