It was another busy weekend in the Frauen-Bundesliga, as the goals and drama continued into matchday four.
Dangerous from the off, Wolfsburg saw two early chances fall narrowly wide as Duisburg struggled to deal with the attacking threat, Alexandra Popp bemused to see her shot from two yards out deflected behind by a diving Alice Hellfeier. But it didn’t take long for the attacking quality of the hosts to pay off, Zsanett Jakabfi following in to hammer the ball into the waiting net after Lina Nuding had let the ball bounce out of her gloves after denying Sara Björk Gunnarsdottir.
Clearly in the mood for more goals, the Wolfs continued to pepper the away box, Lara Dickenmann’s flashed effort half-cleared to Isabel Kerschowski, her improvised shot from outside the box scraping the paint off of the bar on its’ way over.
As they had dominated in the first-half, the hosts continued in the same vein after the break, Popp unlucky to see her first-time shot inch wide. Despite their possession dominance and number of chances, the hosts had to wait until the 89th minute to double their advantage, as Popp popped the ball over the line from a yard out, connecting well with Caroline Graham Hansen’s ball across.
The visitors started on top, working Laura Benkarth right from the off, the keeper on her toes to keep the scores level in the first minute. Frankfurt continued to threaten throughout the first ten minutes, the hosts struggling to deal with the onslaught but finally settling and pushing back against the opposition, holding them in midfield to relieve the pressure on their goal. Freiburg had their chances but were far from smooth in attack, the young side rushed in approach, Desiree Schumann with a much more comfortable first-half than her opposite number in the home goal.
The second-half started in the same style as the first, the visitors taking charge from the off, working the defence, desperate for the breakthrough, but it refused to come. Yuki Ogimi remained a persistent threat throughout, the defence pulled and stretched, Benkarth persistently worked. The clock ticked down and the hosts held on.
The home side finished strongly, gaining a second win they began to rack up set pieces, Schumann called into action, Jackie Groenen clearing Lina Magull’s header off of the line but even as they began to pepper the away box they couldn’t find a way to cut through the deadlock. The result suiting Freiburg much better than Frankfurt.
USV Jena 0-1 Hoffenheim
The hosts were close just five minutes into the game, Marie-Luise Hermann’s header at the back post nodded into the sidenetting before Amber Hearn saw her header fly wide just one minute later. Set pieces were the order of the day and the home side once more came close at a dead ball situation, Hermann’s delivery on the half-hour causing all sorts of problems and Hoffenehim were glad to see it put behind.
It was far from vintage at the Ernst-Abbe-Sportfeld, the visitors best chance after the break falling to Fabienne Dongus, the striker’s hopeful half-volley enough to beat Kathrin Längert but always rising. Once more the home side came close at a set piece, Dolores Silva’s whipped effort evading everyone in front of goal before rolling wide. But the hosts were left shocked when their visitors took the lead out of nothing.
Breaking through the middle of the park, Judith Steinert carried the ball though midfield before letting fly from 20 yards, the lofted ball too much for Längert as it slipped under the bar in spectacular fashion. The job made even harder for Jena when they were reduced to ten with ten minutes left when Lina Hausicke was given her marching orders after a second bookable offence.
Madeline Gier was left shaking her head in the second minute after having raced onto a ball over the top, breaking into the box with just Lisa Weiß to beat the attacker fluffed her lines, firing directly at the keeper, a golden opportunity wasted. Essen soon took a hold of the game Sara Doorsoun forcing a fine save out of Christina Bellinghoven, the keeper called back into action moments later to Doorsoun once more, her parry falling to Charline Hartmann to blast over the line from three yards out.
As could have been predicted the hosts were well on top into the second-half too, Bellinghoven on hand to force Irini Ioannidou’s close range effort clear at a corner before denying substitute Jana Feldkamp at her near post. But there was little she could do about Kozue Ando’s outrageous volley, the defence pulled both ways with red shirts flooding into the box, Ando connected sublimely to balloon the ball over the defence with the inside of her boot, watching it curl round and into the top corner.
Bellinghoven once again beaten by the afters for Essen’s third, forced to save Anne Kufner’s blushes by pushing the defender’s clearance away from goal, Hartmann perfectly placed to nod into the hungry net with the keeper yet to scramble to her feet. A commanding performance from the team second in the league but more misery for the newcomers.
Despite being the inform team with the home advantage, Potsdam started timidly, labouring against a middling Sand team, Lisa Schmitz alert from the off to keep Laura Feiersinger’s driven effort out. But responding well, the hosts saw their best chance cleared off the line.
Elise Kellond-Knight’s lofted corner knocked down by Wibke Meister for Tabea Kemme to blast across the face of goal. With both teams stuck in midfield Eseosa Aigbogun went close late in the half, her cross-cum-shot landing on the roof of the net as Carina Schlüter scrambled to cover the angle.
The deadlock finally broken just after the hour, substitute Anna Gasper’s screamer enough to settle the tie. Meister sent the ball forward for Stafanie Draws, her lay-off to Gasper not doing the defender any favours as she was quickly closed down by a circle of red shirts but the former Leverkusen player was unmoved as she sprung the ball out of feet, looping it under the crossbar from 20 yards.
The first chance of the game fell to Leverkusen’s Nina Ehegötz, racing onto a ball over the top, the striker powered away from the defence and fired at Tinja-Riikka Korpela’s goal, the keeper fast out to deny the 19 year-old. Unfazed by the pressure, Munich settled into the game and took the advantage at the midway point of the first-half after Melanie Behringer had seen her driven free kick turned around for a corner.
Anna Klink a match to the set piece delivery but left rooted at the resulting corner, Gina Lewandowski out-jumping the defence to loop a header to the far corner. The American unable to connect as well with Behringer’s next set-piece, Klink happy to see the ball glance wide before refocusing for the next wave of pressure.
Everybody back for the hosts as Mana Iwabuchi went on a mazy run into the box, dancing around the defence before seeing her goal-bound shot blocked by a pair of red socks before Vivianne Miedema scuffed the chance to double the advantage on the stroke of half-time, her glanced header skewing narrowly wide.
Munich continued to work the hosts throughout the second-half but struggled to carve out any real opportunities, Leverkusen stubborn to the last, almost snatching a late point in a rare attack five minutes from time. As she had at the start of the game, Ehegötz worked Korpela once again, her turn and shoot from inside the D, giving the Finn something to think about as she made the diving save. Annike Krahn well-placed to deny the visitors once more, clearing off of the line after a melee at badly cleared corner.