Tuesday 24 May 2016, 07:04

Cup joy for Wolfsburg as City stay perfect

Fans of women’s football across Europe are eagerly awaiting this Thursday’s UEFA Women’s Champions League final between Wolfsburg and Lyon. Both teams experienced mixed fortunes in their respective nations last weekend, and there were also top-of-the-table encounters in England and USA. FIFA.com casts an eye over events in selected women’s football leagues over the past week.

USA: Portland victorious as league leaders clash The biggest talking point of the sixth round of National Women’s Soccer League matches was the meeting between top teams Washington Spirit and Portland Thorns. The Oregon side delivered a breathtaking performance in front of their home crowd to send Spirit back to the US capital on the back of a 4-1 defeat and bring Thorns back within a point of the frontrunners. Meanwhile Chicago Red Stars piled additional pressure on Washington by beating Seattle Reign 2-1 on the road to draw level with Jim Gabarra’s side, while Orlando Pride’s 1-0 win over Houston Dash means they also lurk just one point behind the top two. Elsewhere, reigning champions Kansas City are still struggling to find their rhythm this season, suffering a 1-0 defeat against basement club Boston Breakers to switch places with their opponents at the foot of the NWSL table.

Top three: Washington Spirit (13), Chicago Red Stars (13), Portland Thorns (12)

Germany: No surprises in cup final Despite struggling to gain the upper hand against Sand on Saturday, Wolfsburg ultimately prevailed 2-1 to lift the DFB Women’s Cup for the third time in their history. Hungarian Zsanett Jakabfi scored a brace to wrap things up for coach Ralf Kellermann’s side and give them an invaluable confidence boost ahead of their UEFA Women’s Champions League final on Thursday. “Every win is great, but to win in a final is something very special,” goalscorer Jakabfi told the VfL website. “Emotions are running very high right now.”

England: City maintain flawless record Manchester City remain the team to beat in England after defeating nearest rivals Chelsea 2-0 last Thursday. Nick Cushing’s side have now taken maximum points from each of their first six games this season without conceding a single goal. The result extends City’s lead over the Blues to six points, although the Londoners have played one match fewer than the WSL pacesetters.

*Top three: Manchester City (18), Chelsea (12), Birmingham (11) *

France: Setback for Lyon Lyon were not entirely convincing in their last league fixture ahead of this week’s Champions League showdown, battling to a 1-1 home stalemate with Montpellier. Swede Sofia Jakobsson found the target for the visitors while Delphine Cascarino scored for Lyon. Second-placed Paris Saint-Germain failed to capitalise on their rivals’ slip-up though, drawing 2-2 with Juvisy to maintain the three-point gap to the league summit.

Top three: Olympique Lyon (82), Paris Saint-Germain (79), Montpellier (71)

Japan: Top teams drop points Despite playing out a goalless draw with JEF United in the tenth round of Nadeshiko League games, NTV Beleza extended their lead to four points at the top of the table after closest challengers INAC Leonessa lost 2-1 to Iga FC Kunoichi at home. Instead it is Leonessa who are looking warily over their shoulders after Vegalta Sendai’s 3-1 win over Okayama Belle Yunogo and Nagano Parceiro’s 1-0 victory at Speranza Osaka. While all three teams have 19 points, Leonessa’s superior goal difference mean they remain in second place for the time being.

Top three: NTV Beleza (23), INAC Leonessa (19), Vegalta Sendai (19)

Spain: Race for the title still neck and neck With just three matches remaining this season, Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona are still locked in a battle for the championship trophy. Pacesetters Bilbao beat Oiartzun 2-0 at home to maintain their single-point advantage over the Catalan club, who defeated Real Sociedad 1-0 on home turf. Meanwhile the relegation places have been decided at the foot of the table, where Oviedo Moderno’s 4-0 loss to UDG Tenerife Sur left them an insurmountable 12 points from safety and forced them to contemplate life in the second tier along with Collerense, whose fate has already been sealed.

Top three: Athletic Bilbao (72), Barcelona (71), Atletico Madrid (63)