After the thirteenth round of fixtures, the FBL has a new leader in Wolfsburg as they’ve gone ahead of Potsdam – the Turbines with a game in hand – the other big news of the weekend was lowly Borussia Mönchengladbach finally picking up a win.
Having been dealt a blow by losing their manager right before the restart of the season, it’s clear Sand haven’t resettled at their best yet and despite dominating the match the hosts couldn’t offer much in front of goal, aside from some half chances that harmlessly skewed wide.
Having defended well – something Gladbach haven’t always been able to boast this season – the visitors took a meaningful lead just after the hour when Jule Dallmann sent a looped cross into the mixer following a half-cleared corner. The shot was a splitter and with Carina Schlüter unable to come out and claim, Sandra Starmanns was on hand to volley the ball home, untroubled by the blue shirts surrounding her.
Still under the cosh until the whistle, Borussia held out well to claim their first point, win and clean sheet of the season.
The visitors took an unlikely lead just before half-time when a poorly communicated back-pass from Stefanie van der Gragt caught Manuela Zinsberger wrong-footed, the ball bouncing off of the goalkeeper’s boot and behind into the net.
A goal down, the Bavarians ramped up their efforts to best Kathrin Längert with both Katharina Baunach and Melanie Behringer firing just over in quick succession before the break. Vivianne Miedema’s introduction on the hour the catalyst for Munich, the Dutch dynamo completing a brace within ten-minutes of coming on, Zinsberger’s blushes spared. The 20 year-old attacker restored parity five minutes after the hour as she charged into the final third with the ball before wriggling away from the defenders on the edge of the area and working enough space to arrow the ball into the far side of the goal.
It was a case of the super-sub for Bayern as Fridolina Rolfö set Miedema up for her second, three minutes after coming off of the bench following a neat one-two with Nicole Rolser. Receiving Rolfö’s short pass, Miedema once again picked out the far corner from the edge of the box. The win marks Munich’s tenth in the league this season and staggeringly, their eighth by a one goal margin. With one point from their last three matches, there is clear improvement for Katja Greulich at Jena and it will begin to tell on the table before long.
Duisburg opened the scoring at the mid-way point of the first-half when Rahel Kiwic swept the ball into the net from close range after a brief scrap in the box, the lead lasting less than ten minutes as Hasret Kayikci sent her firm header past Lena Nuding after connecting with Carolin Simon’s deft cross. It took just two minutes after the restart for the visitors to take the lead with Giulia Gwinn timing her run to perfection to send Kayikci’s whipped cross past Nuding. The hosts dealt a heavy blow just six minutes later when Marina Himmighofen was sent off for a second bookable offence, the numerical advantage telling for SCF as Gwinn widened the gap to 3-1 twenty minutes from time. The teenager pick up the loose ball after it had been half-cleared at a corner, and chanced her arm from 20-yards with a lowe effort, the ball skimming across the turf as it settled in the bottom corner.
One player and two goals down, Duisburg were down but not out and it took them no time at all to reduce the gap to just one once more when Julia Debitzki powered the ball home at the far post following a corner. But MSV weren’t done yet and pulled another goal back through Kiwic, the captain unmarked in the box to complete a fine one-two with Stefanie Weichelt, the captain a driving force in the side.
After a lively start, Hoffenheim took a deserved lead eight minutes before the break when Dóra Zeller nodded Martina Moser’s dangerous cross past Lisa Weiß, the host finally finding the clinical edge that could have had them three goals to the good had they been able to capitalise on earlier chances in the half. Essen improved after the break but continued to struggle with clear-cut chances but were given a helping hand by Martina Tufekovic at the death as she spilled her corner claim. Jacqueline Klasen lively enough to stick a boot at the squirming ball and put it beyond the reach of the red-faced ‘keeper, the draw a let-off for the visitors but a real opportunity missed by TSG.
It took just nine minutes for Wolfsburg to open the scoring at the Ulrich-Haberland-Stadion as Alex Popp let fly from 20 yards after her teammates had cut through the pitch with a flowing one-touch move. Popp’s shot audacious but well-executed to loop over the box and drop into the goal and leave Anna Klink with little chance of saving. Klink left to pick the ball out of her net once more four minutes later as Popp turned creator, keeping the ball alive at a corner for Nilla Fischer to knock over the line after getting her feet sorted.
At 2-0 down there was hope for Leverkusen as Turid Knaak slashed to one after a fine solo goal. Pouncing on a sloppy header, Knaak picked up the errant ball before chasing down on Almuth Schult’s goal and slinking around the defenders who were quickly back. Finding space on the edge of the area, Knaak let fly into the far corner, Schult unable to stop the ball at full-stretch, forced to watch it roll into her unguarded net as it pinged off of the upright.
The visitors once again asserted their dominance after the break and re-opened their two goal lead through Élise Bussaglia after the French international took aim from outside the area and let fly into the far side of the goal. Vanessa Bernauer grabbed the fourth after more good work down the left, her goal the catalyst for ten frantic minutes that saw the hosts concede a further four. Another set-piece gifted Babett Peter the fifth as she fired over the line from point-blank range after Klink had saved Bernauer’s initial effort. There was to be no respite for the hosts as Pernille Harder robbed Rieke Dieckmann of the ball right at the restart, her through ball perfectly weighted for Popp to run on to; the energetic attacker ‘rounding Klink with ease before rolling the ball home for her brace.
With so much of their attack coming down the left it was a change of pace when substitute Caroline Graham Hansen took the ball to the by-line on the right before whipping the ball into the danger zone. Needing no extra encouragement, Emily van Egmond volleyed the ball home just three minutes after coming on. But there was still time for all three second-half subs to get on the scoresheet as Graham Hansen snatched an eighth, the home defence blown apart as Harder found her teammate in acres of space in the box with a neat lay-off. Her side-footed finish, a cheeky nutmeg through Klink’s legs from ten yards the nails in the coffin for Thomas Obliers’ team.
With their first real diamond chance of the game, Frankfurt struck the first blow as Saskia Bartusiak’s deep ball in was headed on by Laura Störzel for Mandy Islacker. The prolific attacker easy splitting the defence before firing the ball well beyond Lisa Schmitz from ten yards.
The lead lasted just ten minutes as the visitors levelled up through Lia Wälti, the Swiss international needing no further encouragement when she arrived into the box to connect with Felicitas Rauch’s lay-off. The highest scoring team in the league so far this season, Turbine continued to attack and create but struggled to find a real opening against the hosts who thwarted their opposition at every turn. The draw enough, their first of the season, enough to see Potsdam slip into second with a game in hand over new leaders, Wolfsburg.