Wolfsburg took a big step towards the Frauen-Bundesliga title with a convincing win over Potsdam after Frankfurt were able to stop Munich from closing down on second, Gladbach all but confirming Leverkusen will be going down with them after a narrow win over them. Elsewhere Jena pulled off a surpirsing win away to Essen, Hoffenheim confirmed their safety in a tight game with Dusiburg and Freiburg left it late against Sand.
Knowing they could jump into second with a win in Frankfurt – if Potsdam dropped points in their later kick-off against Wolfsburg – Munich failed to capitalise and found themselves on the back foot early in Main. A clash in the box between Viktoria Schnaderbeck and Jackie Groenen saw the Dutch woman win a penalty for her team fifteen minutes in, league top goalscorer with no problem converting from twelve yards. Groenen able to double the advantage three minutes later after picking up the ball from a neat Sophie Schmidt lay-off before firing low, beyond Manuela Zinsberger.
Thomas Wörle responded by bringing Fridolina Rolfö on for Nora Holstad ten minutes before half-time after just having seen Vivianne Miedema go close at a corner. The increased pressure paid dividends when the visitors won another set piece, Caroline Abbé on hand to meet Katharina Baunach’s dinked delivery with a thundering header. Not done yet, Munich found an equaliser on the hour, Abbé’s fellow centre-back, Carina Wenninger on the scoresheet with a rising header.
That was however where the good news ended for the Bavarians, Islacker able to grab her brace with a neat finish from eighteen yards, the ball looped over Zinsberger and rippling into the net. The win confirmed ten minutes from time when eighteen year old Janina Hechler completed a nice one-two with Ana-Maria Crnogorčević, curling the ball towards goal as she went sliding to the ground. Zinsberger only able to palm the ball high into the air for it to drop against the upright and slip in.
With just their second win of the year, Borussia effectively relegated Leverkusen, the hosts able to come from behind to go down swinging. A long ball over the top saw the hosts with a strong chance in the first-half, Anna Klink charging out of her goal to clear the ball only to get in a muddle with Kelly Simons. Hesitation from the ‘Gladbach woman enough to see Klink get an important enough touch with her defenders running back, Simons’ unable to take advantage with the goal at her mercy. The hosts remained about to get in behind the Leverkusen defence and for the first time this year seemed to carry a threat, the side bruised and battered from a long season out of their depth without the presence of mind to get in and hurt their opposition as they would if they were still in 2. Frauen-Bundesliga.
A deep free kick saw Leverkusen take the lead with little more than fifteen minutes left on the clock, star in the team, Turid Knaak able to meet the ball in mid-air and flick it on Christina Bellinghoven caught cold as she tumbled to the ground, the ball looping over her outstretched arm. The lead, however, lasted just two minutes before ‘Gladbach scored their sixth goal of the season, Liv Aerts the only one up in the box for a free kick, more than happy to have Rachel Rinast’s headed clearance land at her feet before firing low past Klink. Second-half substitute Mona Lohmann able to snap up all three points for her team when she left Klink on the ground before rolling the ball home from a tight angle, her calm finish not one to be expected give Gladbach’s season.
On a day of quick goals the fastest went to Jena and Lucie Voňková who had the net shaking less than ten seconds after Charline Hartmann kicked off for Essen. Playing backwards to Nina Brüggemann, Voňková was able to nip in and pressurise the ball as Isabel Hochstein looked to go back to Lisa Weiß before rounding Weiß and firing into the open goal. With 89 minutes and 50 seconds still left on the clock, Essen had plenty of time to get back into the game and went forward well, Lea Schüller’s over-head kick straight at Justien Odeurs but the job became a harder one when the visitors struck again on the half-hour. Able to bring the ball away at an Essen corner, Voňková took off running through midfield, the hosts busting a lung to get back as the Czech international picked out Lisa Seiler on her left. Continuing her sprint in the box, Voňková was found well with a square ball by her teammate before shooting under Weiß.
In the busiest first-half in the league, Essen were able to slash the deficit in two ten minutes later after Julia Arnold clipped Linda Dallmann in the area, Hartmann unable to send Odeurs the wrong way but with enough of her shot the Belgian had no chance of saving the spot kick. Already having proved deadly straight from the kick-off, Jena showed they could do it from one of their own too as they fast won a free kick 35-yards out, Susann Utes meet the deep ball beyond the far post and sent it back spinning towards the goalmouth. Jana Sedláčková able to get the last touch on the ball as she and Lena Ostermeier went spilling over the line after the ball.
Two goals down, Essen continued to create and look dangerous in areas but unable to find the required finish when necessary they were left to rue wasted opportunities when Arnold made it four with a side-footed finish from fifteen yards. The win sealed six minutes after the restart, the win a reminder of what Jena are capable of, the team from Thüringen unlucky with some of their results this season, Essen continue to look troubled.
SC Sand 2-3 SC Freiburg
A well-worked free kick saw the hosts take the lead just seven minutes into the game, Verena Aschauer with a dummy run up before receiving the ball out wide to fire into the far corner, Freiburg only down for twenty minutes before Lina Magull levelled from the spot. Carina Schlüter, guilting of giving the penalty away, sent the wrong way by the Freiburg dynamo.
Magull was the hero for the visitors once again after the break, firing them ahead with a firm shot high into the goal after a well-sighted lay-off from Lena Petermann. But with plenty of time left on the clock, Sand found an equaliser in stoppage time when Milena Nikolić just about got the ball out of her feet to prod beyond Lara Benkarth at Cecilie Sandvej’s very deep free kick. The parity, however joyful for the hosts, refused to last and substitute Hasret Kayikci salvaged a win for the visitors, three minutes into stoppage time when her deflected effort wrong-footed Schlüter.
The team in the ascendancy, Hoffenheim confirmed their FBL safety with a narrow win over Duisburg, the visitors unable to really get going in the game as TSG put the sting of last week’s loss to Munich behind them. After having a handful of early efforts saved by Lena Nuding, the hosts took the lead on the half hour when Kristin Demann curled her shot home at a Leonie Pankratz corner, Sophie Howard with the presence of mind to leave the shot for the 24 year-old behind her. With Hoffenheim attacking for fun, Duisburg were left owing a lot to Nuding who made a number of fine saves throughout conversely only a Virginia Kirchberger effort from 40-yards had Martina Tufekovic beaten, the bar coming to her rescue.
Knowing they’d remain top no matter the outcome in Potsdam – bar a cricket score – Wolfsburg were in no mood to give their nearest challengers an inch and hit the ground running. A fifth minute penalty was easily converted by Caroline Hansen after a clumsy foul on Pernille Harder by Caroline Siems, the Norwegian now having scored in each of her last five appearances for the Wolves. Lia Wälti’s hopeful ball dropped to Babett Peter, the German international unable to get her touch right and she gifted Tabea Kemme the chance to nip in and steal the ball, needing no extra encouragement, Kemme fired the ball between Almuth Schult’s outstretched arm and leg as she went low to block the shot. The net left rippling, the two all square and doing well to cancel each other out until half-time.
If the first-half was more balanced second only belonged to Wolfsburg, Anna Blässe firing the visitors ahead two minutes after the restart, the hosts lax as Tessa Wullaert carried the ball down the left flank, her smart cross found Ewa Pajor and a weak touch from Joanna Elsig had Lisa Schmitz flat-footed. the hosts looking sleepy as Blässe pounce to knock the ball home from close range. From there on the Wolves never looked like losing the side digging deep to find more defensive strength, getting tight to bodies in their own half and blocking any attempted interplay or shots from distance. The tie put far beyond Potsdam’s reach by Wullaert eight minutes later, with nothing but space and lazy challenges in her way, the Belgian international charged through midfield, carrying the ball barely challenged into the box before firing high above Schmitz.
The result sees Wolfsburg with one firm hand on the title, Potsdam set for a show-down with Munich for second place in the penultimate game of the season.