Matchweek 18 in the Frauen-Bundesliga saw Potsdam return to winning ways as Wolfsburg boosted their goal difference at home to Gladbach, elsewhere Freiburg completed a stunning come-back against Essen and both Duisburg and Leverkusen snatched last-minute draws.
Looking to bounce back from dropping five points in their last two games, Potsdam had to ride out positive pressure from Jena, Lisa Schmitz alert to claim Lucie Voňková’s driven effort before Amber Hearn headed wide. Tireless work from Eseosa Aigbogun saw the Swiss international recover the ball near the by-line before sending the ball low into the area for Felicitas Rauch to smash home at the near post to give the visitors the lead just after the half hour. Not having scored since the last match of 2016, Svenja Huth showed no signs of rust as she doubled the advantage ten minutes later when she chipped her effort over Justien Odeurs from 20-yards.
Two goals down and looking a little off the pace the task was made even harder for Jena when Lina Hausicke was dismissed on the hour after a second bookable offence; a needless challenge on Lia Wälti. A handful of late chances passed but the Turbines weren’t able to extend their lead, however the galvanising win comes at the perfect time as they prepare to host Wolfsburg next time out.
MSV Duisburg 3-3 SC Sand
Both teams started with plenty of attacking intent but it was the hosts who made the breakthrough after Chioma Igwe was adjudged to have handled in the box, giving Rahel Kiwic the perfect opportunity from 12 yards. Kiwic’s shot just clinical enough to beat Carina Schlüter, the young keeper able to chart the trajectory of the ball and get down sharply to her right. The lead, however, lasted for just six minutes before Nina Burger latched onto countrymate, Verena Aschauer’s long ball, the prolific attacker able to take the ball past a marauding Lena Nuding before firing into the gaping net. It was truly all about the Austrians in Duisburg though as Lisa Marie Makas poked the ball home at the back post after Schlüter had saved her first effort.
Given the close nature of the game it was hardly a surpise to see Sand pull level once again, Burger’s header enough to restore parity, the striker first the ball after Nuding had parried her initial effort from Milena Nikolić’s dinked cross. Sheer determination to finally go ahead saw the visitors take the lead for the first time fifteen minutes into the second-half, Laura Vetterlein hugging the near post and able to turn Cecilie Sandvej’s corner in after Nuding had parried directly at her. There was still time for late drama though when Kiwic drew the hosts level with less than ten minutes on the clock, the Swiss international always favoured in the air and her deft header left Schlüter no chance as it flew into the far netting.
SC Freiburg 4-2 SGS Essen
Able to get in before Laura Benkarth, Linda Dallmann fired Lea Schüller’s threaded ball past the keeper and into the top corner to give the visitors a solid lead before Nina Brüggemann doubled the advantage ten minutes before the break, volleying home at a corner. Having a mixed season, much like Essen, Freiburg refused to lie down and soon turned the tie around, Lina Magull’s near post finish the shot in the arm the hosts needed. Having already cut the deficite in half, SCF found parity just two minutes later on the stroke of half time when Hasret Kayikci powered her header into the turf for it to bounce behind Lisa Weiß and into the waiting net.
The comeback completed after the break when Magull fired the hosts in front from close range after getting into a tangle in the box with Brüggemann and Weiß. The hosts on top, all that was left for Freiburg and Magull was a goal to seal both their win and her hattrick, win the chance presenting itself on the hour after Giulia Gwinn was felled in the area by Sara Doorsoun. Able to fool Weiß with a nippy look to her left, Magull fired her spot kick right into the heart of the right corner to cap off a fine turn-around in the south.
There was no surprises on the cards when top hosted bottom in Wolfsburg on Sunday, the hosts able to take the lead four minutes in when Ewa Pajor grabbed her third goal in four games. The ball sent in by Isabel Kerschowski and kept alive by Pajor and Lara Dickenmann, the Polish international able to bring the ball under control before firing over Christina Bellinghoven outstretched glove and into the top corner. The lead easily doubled twelve minutes later by Pernille Harder as she reacted to the loose ball first after Bellinghoven had cleared Nilla Fischer’s attempt at Dickemann’s corner. The Danish dynamite able to power the ball into the back of the net from similar range as Pajor before her, the striker opting to go low through the crowd.
Having not scored since February, Alex Popp grabbed her first in nine games (in all competitions) when she reacted to Julia Koj’s clearance of Harder’s free kick, the German international happy to have space to volley the ball into the unguarded side of the net. With half-time fast approaching the Wolves were still able to further their lead before the break when they turned possession over in midfield, Pajor able to thread the ball though to Harder, her scuffed finish catching Bellinghoven’s hand before bouncing into the far side of the goal.
Still in no mood to go easy of their lowly opponents it took Wolfsburg a matter of seconds after the break to further their lead when Harder nibbled the ball from Sandra Starmanns just outside of the box. The Dane happy to roll the ball past Bellinghoven to cap off her hat trick, her first for Wolfsburg but her second of the year. Playing way too loose at the back proved fatal for Gladbach when Bellinghoven was caught in possession just after the hour, Popp needing little encouragement to run in and take the ball away before rolling it into the open net.
If sloppiness at the back could be blamed for the first two after the break there was nothing shameful about the seventh goal from Borussia’s point of view, Wolfsburg’s one-touch football able to cut through any team. From Popp to Vanessa Bernauer through to Pajor, back to Bernauer to square to Tessa Wullaert, the big Belgian in acres and able slot under Bellinghoven. Still the hosts weren’t done and Pajor rounded off the scoring just two minutes later, volleying the ball home at the back post from Popp’s header.
Whilst resigning Gladbach to their second 8-0 loss of the season, the result has also further boosted Wolfsburg’s goal difference taking them 11 goals better off than nearest rivals, Potsdam.
The hosts took the lead in the fifth minute after being able to counter at a Frankfurt corner, Lisa Schwab able to pull away from the last line of defence before curling her shot past Cara Bösl, the ‘keeper forced to watch the ball bounce off of the far post and into the back of the net. The game fell into an expected rhythm with the visitors dominating but Leverkusen doing well to defend and keep them at arm’s length however an inspired dipping effort from outside the box saw Tanja Pawollek restore parity on the half-hour. The chances continued to flow for the visitors but they had seemingly left their finishing boots back in Frankfurt, every effort an inch too high or a centimetre wide.
With the lion’s share of the ball, FFC were finally able to nudge themselves in front when Sophie Schmidt bettered Pawollek’s earlier goal with a stunner from 30-yards after some pinball in the box. No stranger to goals from serious distance, Schmidt finished with aplomb, Anna Klink no match for the thunderbolt. Heading for their 14 loss of the season, Bayer were able to salvage a draw after Pawollek was adjudged to have felled substitute Rieke Dieckmann in the box, a penalty the upshot. Already into second-half stoppage time, Merle Barth showed no signs of nerves as she sent Bösl the wrong way and powered her spot-kick into the top right corner for her third of the season.
The hosts took an early lead through Vivianne Miedema as slipped away from Sophie Howard before squeezing her shot inside of the near post as Martina Tufeković desperately tried to close the angle. Able to dominate, Munich continued to look dangerous throughout the half as Hoffenheim continued to waste their chances when they came, the visitors made to pay when Miedema took her [league] goal tally to double figures for the season just before the break. Latching onto Sara Däbritz’s neat ball, the Dutch dynamo had no problem in brushing Martina Moser off as she carved out space on the left side of the box once more, her effort too high for Tufeković as it caught the inside of the bar, rebounding into the turf behind the keeper and rolling home.
The match continued in the same vein after the break, Munich still dominating and Hoffenheim struggling to get going at either end of the pitch, the visitors granted a reprieve when Nicole Rolser’s devilish effort grazed the upright before drifting behind. Both continued to have chances but with finishing at a premium the scoreline refused to change, Munich more than happy with the three points to keep them in touching distance of the top two.