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Damallsvenskan Round 21: The Championship Match is set

by Rainer Fussgänger

Sweden has finally gotten its thrilling final. The championship will be decided in Malmö next Saturday when defending champions Malmö will play challenger Tyresö FF in what is already regarded as the most exciting finish of Damallsvenskan in many years. On the other side of the table AIK is definitely leaving the league after losing at home against Linköping while Djurgården has a tiny little chance to continue playing DA in 2013. Read more

Bundesliga, Match Day 7: Top trio wins their games

by Olaf Goldbecker

T-shirt weather in Germany was one week ago. Within seven days the late summer weather turned into a first winter weekend. Minus degrees and in the southern half even snow, led to the game between Munich and Gütersloh being cancelled. Bitter for the visitors: they travelled with the bus to Munich, started Saturday 8 am, only to hear on Sunday that the game has to be postponed while the team spent the weekend on the Autobahn travelling 750 miles in vain. The annoyed Gütersloh Coach Markus Graskamp called it “the most expensive snow ball battle ever”. The other five games were played as follows: Read more

Damallsvenskan Round 20

by Rainer Fussgänger

For Kopparberg/Göteborgs FC it has been quite a diappointing season so far. I remember well how coach Torbjörn Nilsson told us in April at the pre-season press meeting in Göteborg that his team would try everything to win the championship this year and that they would have a fair chance to win the gold medals. Months later, Göteborg is much more than 10 points behind the leading teams of Malmö and Tyresö. Read more

Bundesliga, Match Day 6: Potsdam defeats Munich, Wolfsburg struggles

by Olaf Goldbecker

Bayer Leverkusen v FF USV Jena 1:2 (0:0)
Bottom duel between Leverkusen and Jena, which delivered the result that Leverkusen did not do enough changes by just replacing the coach after the last season. Susanne Utes scored the lead for the visitors after the break, which was answered by Francesca Weber in minute 67. With ten minutes left on the clock, a penalty kick by Carolin Schiewe cared for Jena’s win and also that her team left the relegation spots. Leverkusen now is the only team in the league without win. Four yellows for Jena v 0 yellows for Leverkusen showed who understood how to play on the bottom of a league. Read more

Bundesliga, Match Day 5: Gütersloh upsets Frankfurt

by Olaf Goldbecker

Another matchday in Germany, which couldn’t fully be played as two teams are active in the Champions League. Four games were played on this national holiday:

1.FFC Frankfurt v FSV Gütersloh 1:1 (1:0)
One way football towards the goal of Tessa Rinkes was seen in Frankfurt and everybody knew there could only be one winner – sometimes things happen differently. Sandrine Bretigny scored her first Bundesliga goal already after a quarter hour and by then nobody thought that this might be the only successful strike for the powerhouse. Yet either Rinkes saved or post/crossbar helped the visitors who realized ten minutes before the end that something was possible today. They changed to three players in the backline and went full risk, which was rewarded. Maren Wallenhorst tied the game with one minute left on the clock after a corner kick.

FCR Duisburg v VfL Sindelfingen 4:0 (1:0)
Three days after Sindelfingen won their first points in the league, they returned back to normal. Yet the score was not as close as it seems, the last two goals happened within the final five minutes. Mandy Islacker was the player of the day with three goals. Lieke Martens added one to the final score.

FF USV Jena v SG Essen-Schönebeck 1:1 (1:1)
Early goals sealed this match already after 12 minutes. Kat Tarr opened the scoring for the visitors and Susanne Utes tied quickly. Jena needs to work on winning those games, otherwise it might get close for them this year, while Essen showed that they prefer playing teams who can attack more.

Bayern München v Bayer Leverkusen 3:2 (2:0)
American scoring day in Munich. Sarah Hagen scored twice, Niki Cross added one to give their team a 3-0 lead after an hour. Yet Leverkusen continued fighting and put themselves on the scoreboard. Caro Dej entered the field in minute 65 and used her time to score a pair of goals. Since the last one came in minute 90 there was not enough time left to achieve a draw

Situation: the standings are very uneven, see the number of games in brackets. Frankfurt leads the league with 10 points (5), followed by Gütersloh (4) and Essen (5) with 7 each. A quartet currently has 6 points on their account: Potsdam (3), Wolfsburg (2), Munich (3) and Duisburg (4). Bad Neuenahr sits on the eighth spot as only team with 5 points (4), trailed by Freiburg at 4 (3) and Sindelfingen with 3 (5). Currently on relegation spots with two points each are Leverkusen (4) and Jena (5).

Damallsvenskan Rounds 17 and 18

by Rainer Fussgänger

This is the summary of two rounds of the Damallsvenskan which slowly moves to its final decision. Malmö and Tyresö continue to play in their own league it seems and only they can stop each other.

The last week was a lot about ACL injuries. Unfortunately. The first victim was Swedish WNT goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl who was injured in the game in Göteborg a week ago and who got the diagnose a few days later. It is uncertain if she can be back when Sweden plays the EURO 2013 next year. However, she is willing to try.

Her team Kristianstad lost another national team player as striker Kosovare Asllani was picked from ambitious Paris SG to play in the French league immediately. Asllani was recruited during the last days of the French transfer window and president Nasser Al-Khelaifi wants to establish his club as one of the best in both men’s and women’s soccer. Aslanni’s famous countryman Zlatan Ibrahimovic joined the men’s side right before the season started and Mr Al-Khelaifi reportedly said that they now had even recruited the “female Zlatan”.

Another ACL injury occurred in Malmö where midfielder Lisa Ek suffered this injury in the last practice before the Champions League game in Budapest which LdB FC Malmö easily won by 4:0. Thirty-year-old Ek had just recently signed a two year contract with the Swedish champions and will now soon face surgery for the third ACL of her career.

Pia Sundhage will coach the Swedish WNT for the first time on October when they will meet Switzerland in Växjö, one of the towns to host next year’s EURO.

Round 17

Kopparberg/Göteborgs FC vs Kristianstads DFF 3:0
Attendance: 312
Göteborg: Anna Ahlstrand 26’, Christen Press 72’, Yael Averbuch 89’

KIF Örebro vs Linköpings FC 2:3
Attendance: 302
Örebro: Linda Fransson 30’, Linda Hallin 68’
Linköping: Louise Fors 35’, Manon Melis 38’, Marianne Gajhede Knudsen 75’

Piteå IF vs Jitex BK 0:1
Attendance: 1012
Jitex: Mimmi Löfwenius 18’

Vittsjö GIK vs LdB FC Malmö 2:3
Attendance: 1195
Vittsjö: Emma Sjödahl 75’, Kirsti Yallop 87’
Malmö: Katrina Veje 41’, Ramona Bachmann 45+1’, Anja Mittag 90’

Umeå IK vs Djurgården 2:0
Attendance: 611
Umeå: Rita Chikwelu 21’, Jenny Hjohlman 80’

AIK vs Tyresö FF 0:4
Attendance: 832
Tyresö: Marta 53’, Madelaine Edlund 59’, Marta 66’, Madelaine Edlund 73’

Round 18

Tyresö FF vs Umeå IK 6:0
Attendance: 2428
Tyresö: own goal 24’, Line Röddik Hansen 36’, Kirsten van de Ven 40’, Madelaine Edlund 47’, Kirsten van de Ven 58’, Caroline Seger 61’

With only 60 minutes played Tyresö led with 6:0 against the former champions from Umeå. Their coach, Joakim Blomqvist, let Umeå start with a 3-4-3 formation which was not a good idea against Tyresö’s midfield which would be a tough challenge to most teams in the world. Or what do you say about Swedish internationals Lisa Dahlkvist and Caroline Seger in combination with Dutch Kirsten van de Ven and the samba duo of Marta and Vero Boquete?
Tyresö outplayed their opponents and if they just had wanted they could have scored far more goals, but the last 30 minutes they were already relaxing for the next game to come. Possible, that center back and Swedish WNT player Linda Sembrant has injured her knee after a collision with an Umeå player.

Kristianstads DFF vs AIK 3:0
Attendance: 467
Kristianstad: Susanne Moberg 23’, Margrét Lara Vidarsdottir (PK) 60’, Johanna Rasmussen 77’

It is very likely that AIK has burned their last chance to avoid relegation. Kristianstad was highly motivated after they lost goalkeeper Lindahl because of an ACL a week ago, Asllanni and finally discovering that the club had “forgotten” that the season ends first on November 3 while most players are out of contract by the end of October. But the players have promised to play the last game in spite of the fact that some of them will seek new clubs next year.

Djurgården vs KIF Örebro 3:1
Attendance: 157
Djurgården: Jessica Landström 7’, Susan Varli 38’, Matilda Rosqvist 77’
Örebro: Sarah Michael 22’

A defeat would have erased all of Djurgårdens hopes to avoid relegation. Now they have at least a little chance, closing the gap to Örebro and a safe spot to “only” four points with four matches to go. The next Djurgården game will be played at home, but the visiting side is Marta’s Tyresö…

LdB FC Malmö vs Piteå IF 3:1
Attendance: 876
Malmö: Katrin Schmidt 45+2’, Sara Björk Gunnarsdottir 56’, Anja Mittag 78’
Piteå: Anna Westerlund 52’

While Tyresö performs the free dance to use metaphors from figure skating Malmö delivers the short program right now. The champions win their games, but they do miss the kind of magic that surrounds Tyresö when they score their goals mostly within half an hour of the game.
Malmö defeats Tyresö and we all hope for that big game in the beginning of November on Malmö IP.

Jitex vs Göteborg 1:3
Attendance: 1153
Jitex: Kristine Lindblom 9’
Göteborg: Yael Averbuch 1’, Yael Averbuch 61’, Anita Asante 66’

Göteborg confirms their 3rd place behind the leading two. Torbjörn Nilsson’s squad is 16 points behind Malmö and 14 behind Tyresö. Anyway, Yael Averbuch gets better and better, scoring two out of three in that Sunday game. Nilsson commented Averbuch’s second goal with: ‘She really has a good shot. Her shot is like the kick of a horse.’

Bundesliga, Match Day 4: Frankfurt wins top game v 9 Potsdam players last minute

by Olaf Goldbecker

A remarkable end to a top game and many surprises were delivered on this matchday. See yourself:

1.FFC Turbine Potsdam v 1.FFC Frankfurt 1:2 (0:0)
More than 4,000 wanted to see the top game between the archrivals. Kerstin Garefrekes put her team up front after an hour, but ten minutes later Yuki Ogimi had the answer for Potsdam. Everything seemed ready for the draw but Potsdam had two players out in stoppage time – Stefanie Mirlach and Alex Singer could not participate anymore and the team used their three substitutions. Former Potsdam player Lira Bajramaj who did not part peacefully from her club made use of the situation and delivered the game winner in minute 93.
The end of the game went as follows:

Minute 87: Stefanie Mirlach and Alex Singer collide with their heads, have to be treated on the field for minutes and carried off the field (which is why Potsdam had to play to an end with 9 – five minutes stoppage time because of that)

Minute 92: Lira Bajramaj scores the game winner, whole attendance boos at Frankfurt, they don’t cheer at their goal to not heat the atmosphere any further

Minute 94: Tabea Kemme tackles Bajramaj away who has to be carried off the field, probably knee injury

Bayer Leverkusen v SC Bad Neuenahr 1:1 (0:1)
Seven yellows prove how the teams battled for the points. Nicole Rolser scored the lead for the visitors after half an hour and Eunice Beckmann answered twenty minutes into the second half. Three games, no wins – Leverkusen has to pay attention to not suffer the same downslide as last season.

SG Essen-Schönebeck v Bayern München 2:0 (1:0)
Bayern Munich has had problems to start into the season. Already last week they won 4-0 but all goals happened off set pieces, which annoyed the coach. In Essen it did not get better, quite in contrast: Sabrina Dörpinghaus scored both goals of today’s game to give her team the win. Essen stays unpredictable in this league.

FF USV Jena v VfL Wolfsburg 0:3 (0:1)
An expected win for Wolfsburg, the only team that still has a clean sheet, which drowns a bit due to the uneven standings. Conny Pohlers scored an early goal in the first half and added the final goal. Zsanett Jakabfi marked the second right after the sides were changed.

VfL Sindelfingen v SC Freiburg 3:2 (0:1)
A huge surprise happened in Sindelfingen today. Freiburg started well into the season and there was no trace that they could only be endangered to lose points against the horribly started hosts. It took some time today but Freiburg was on their safe way to three points after Juliane Meier scored on a penalty kick shortly before halftime and Fiona O’Sullivan scored her third league goal after an hour. What followed were a crazy five minutes. In minute 80 Julia Schneider scored the first goal for Sindelfingen, one minute later Rahel Spengler tied, another four minutes later Alexandra Szarvas turned the match completely. This shows that Sindelfingen can’t be written off just yet and that Freiburg isn’t as stable as it seemed to be.

FSV Gütersloh v FCR Duisburg 3:2 (2:1)
Prior to the game, Duisburg’s coach Marco Ketelaer said that his team is the favorite and added that last year in the cup competition they won 7-0. He knew that his team lost some players in the meantime but he might have underestimated how much quality his team has left – and that Gütersloh got stronger. Nina Claassen after 16 and former Duisburg veteran Anne van Bonn after 25 minutes cared for a comfortable lead for the hosts. Right before halftime, Jackie Groenen’s goal for Duisburg raised the hopes for a turnaround but this did not happen. Midway thru the second half Maren Wallenhorst increased to a two goal lead again. Gülhiye Cengiz got her team closer with eight minutes left on the clock but this was not enough.

Situation: Frankfurt leads the standings with 9 points in 4 games, Potsdam with 7 pts in 3 follows. Yet the third placed team is the real leader with Wolfsburg as they are at 6 pts in 2 games. Gütersloh (6 in 3) and Essen (6 in 4) follow. The mid-table positions are occupied by Bad Neuenahr (5 in 3) and Freiburg (4 in 3). Bayern Munich will not be happy about the start (3 in 2), neither is Duisburg (3 in 3). Sindelfingen (3 in 4) celebrated the first points and down in the standings are Leverkusen (2 in 3) as well as Jena (1 in 4).