The only side to play twice and win twice, Potsdam hold the bragging rights over both Freiburg and Frankfurt, the Sport Club’s weekend win over Hoffenheim giving them a second chance at the top two after Munich’s slip at home to USV.
Having lost 3-1 to TSG in the midweek, Essen reversed the result to claim a win over Duisburg as Sand deepened FCK’s woes.
In a nervy match that could yet have a bearing on who finishes in a Champions League position, there was little to separate the two teams in Potsdam. Svenja Huth and Hasret Kayikçi the two to poke holes in each other’s defences, the final ball lacking from both teams for the majority of the match.
Already called into action to deny Rahel Kiwic, Laura Benkarth’s understudy Maria Korenčiová could do little about Huth’s pinpoint free kick late in the second half, the ball whipped over the wall and into the top corner.
Needing just two minutes to find the back of the net at home, Fabienne Dongus raced onto Michaela Specht’s threaded pass. Slipping past Sara Doorsoun with ease the attacker paid no mind to Marina Hegering cutting across and fired the ball though Lisa Weiß’ legs. One fast became two when Maximiliane Rall completed a one-two with Leonie Pankratz to cut through the sloppy defence and send the ball low inside the near post.
Finding some stability in the match, Lea Schüller reduced the deficit 15 minutes later when a volley from six-yards, the young attacker half a step ahead of her marker to reach Turid Knaak’s cross first. With the match hanging in the balance, Schüller missed a late chance to pull the visitors level before Franziska Harsch hit a stunner for TSG to confirm the three points.
With Rall putting pressure on Weiß, the goalkeeper was forced to roll the ball to Ina Lehmann, the midfielder losing out to Harsch as she nipped in and fired from range, slamming the ball into the empty net.
Conceding five or more goals for the ninth time this season, Köln were yet again humbled in the Frauen-Bundesliga, their home form worse than their away. Managing three last time out against the same opposition, Sand started early, Nina Burger’s header at a ninth minute corner deflected back to her to poke home in a goalmouth scramble. The advantage doubled in the blink of an eye by the Austrian, the striker able to slot the ball home after Milena Nikolić's blocked cut-back dropped to her.
The Billygoats again the masters of their own demise after the break, Anne van Bonn’s hopeful drive from range grabbed in mid-air by Anne-Kathrine Kremer only for the goalkeeper to drop it and let it fall into the goal behind her. The goal lead to a fast change with Kremer replaced by Claudia Hoffmann, the teenager lasting just ten minutes before conceding.
Watching and waiting for Sylvia Arnold’s arced cross to drop into her grasp the substitute was left red-faced as Nikolić pounced, using her height advantage to crack a flying header into the back of the net.
Arnold was back to terrorise Hoffmann twenty minutes later, the ‘keeper able to parry a corner as far as the midfielder, her acrobatic volley from 11 yards perfectly struck to claim the fifth goal. A one-two between Laura Feiersinger and Arnold set up Burger for her hattrick, the tired home defence well overloaded as Arnold found the 30-year-old who finished with ease.
FFC Frankfurt 0-1 Turbine Potsdam
Continuing their chequered form since the winter break, FFC slipped to another defeat in a close match with clear chances at a premium. Chancing her arm from range, Felicitas Rauch drew a stunning save out of Bryane Heaberlin to turn the ball over the bar on the half hour. The hosts responded to the pressure well and soon cut forward in numbers, Tanja Pawollek’s low effort slipping agonisingly wide of Lisa Schmitz’ far post.
The decisive moment came early in the second half when Viktoria Schwalm slipped the ball through the midfield, questionably hugging the offside line, Huth chased the ball down. Slipping around Janina Hechler, the attacker stuck a leg out ahead of her marker, sending the ball spinning past Heaberlin and into the far corner.
Given a chance to boost their goal difference at the death, Nina Ehegötz raced onto a Lia Wälti pinged ball, in acres of space the young attacker took the ball around the goalkeeper leaving her on the deck. Dawdling on the ball with the defence fast-closing, Ehegötz’ eventual shot was comparatively tame and easily cleared by Sophia Kleinherne.
1899 Hoffenheim 0-1 SC Freiburg
Chances for the Sport Club punctuated the first half but the ball stubbornly refused to go in, Friederike Abt coming up trumps for TSG once again. The introduction of Lina Magull early in the second half proved to be the catalyst for the visitors, the attacker needing just 12 minutes before netting the winner.
A neat one-two with Klara Brühl saw the substitute slip through the box, Brühl’s audacious backheel perfectly weighted for Magull to latch onto before slotting into the left side of the goal.
The win, coupled with Bayern’s draw puts Freiburg back in with a chance of finishing in the top two after their midweek loss had all but confirmed the Bavarians. With five match days still left for most of the league and all the top teams forced to play at least one of their fellow Champions League hopefuls, the race remains open.
Having struggled against Jena last season, winning 1-0 and 2-1 with all three goals scored after the hour (and all from Vivianne Miedema), Munich’s 5-0 win over USV earlier this season looked to have put any demons to rest. Yet as the minutes ticked by in Bavaria, the hosts failed to find their opening but short of picking the ball up and walking it into the Jena net, Bayern peppered the away goal throughout the match.
The visitors forced to sit and bank, stifling as many attacks as they could, Munich’s efforts on target easy enough for Erin McLeod to deal with, though too much was sent wide of the goal.
Not just losing ground on Wolfsburg who continue to lead the league despite their two games in hand, the draw has reopened the window for Freiburg and even Potsdam to gazump Munich in their pursuit for European football.
SGS Essen 3-1 MSV Duisburg
Still in serious danger of relegation, the Zebras started in perfect fashion away to Essen, needing just five minutes to take the lead. Kathleen Radtke’s perfectly executed free kick curled around the wall and arced into the top right corner, well out of the reach of Lisa Weiß to give the visitors a much-needed boost.
The lead didn’t last however and as fast as it was gained it was lost again, playing themselves into trouble, Rieke Dieckmann’s careless back-pass slipped between the centrebacks as Linda Dallmann pounced.
Needing no greater invitation, the young attacker let the ball roll across her body before sliding it under the diving arm of Lena Nuding, time and space in abundance. From 1-1 the match soon shifted in favour of the hosts, clean one-touch passing saw them move the ball from one end of the pitch to the other without breaking a sweat, Dallmann’s long ball enough for Lea Schüller.
With the visiting defence once again switched off and too high up the pitch, Schüller opened up her stride to dash in behind, extending a leg at the ball just outside the area to fire low into the hungry net.
Reduced to ten after Jacqueline Klasen was shown two yellows, SGS wee given a scare as Dieckmann’s venomous 30-yard free kick crashed against the bar before dropping into the box to be cleared.
Showing no numerical disadvantage the Esseners attacked with style once more, the ball pinged from Schüller for Dallmann to chase, her lay-off to Turid Knaak well-judged for the midfielder to reach and knock past Nuding.