Germany: Potsdam, Frankfurt clinch Champions League spot, title decision on the last matchday
One week before the final matchday, the title race is still open. Both Frankfurt and Potsdam continued their streak and cared for postponing the decision on the championship to next weekend. Turbine Potsdam defended its top position easily, smashing host Bayer Leverkusen, 7-1, in front of their record crowd of 1,950. The second line of players had their big day. Team captain Jennifer Zietz, defensive midfielder, had a hat trick, while Viola Odebrecht continued her good shape and added a pair.
1.FFC Frankfurt also landed a road win, 4-0, at Hamburger SV, but they had more problems than the result tells. Conny Pohlers added a hat trick within the last quarter hour of the game to secure the game after Kerstin Garefrekes scored the lead a minute before halftime. Both, Frankfurt and Potsdam secured their participation in the Champions League with their wins. Third-ranked FCR Duisburg only came away with a 2-2 draw at relegation endangered FF USV Jena. The East Germans even had a 2-0 halftime lead before FCR woke up and collected at least one point on goals by Inka Grings and Alexandra Popp.
Due to Hamburg’s loss, the game between Bayern Munich and VfL Wolfsburg turned out to be the game for fourth place. Wolfsburg took the lead by star forward Martina Müller after a quarter hour, but Bayern equalized only three minutes after. Half an hour before the end of the game, a Wolfsburg player decided the game against her own team when she scored into the own net to give Bayern Munich a 2-1 win. 1.FC Saarbrücken got one step closer to getting relegated after a 3-2 home loss against SC Bad Neuenahr. FCS delivered a good fight, turned Bad Neuenahr’s 1-0 into a halftime lead, but couldn’t keep the score in the second half. Bianca Rech was the match-winner for Bad Neuenahr by scoring a pair.
Playing in Bundesliga next season will be SG Essen-Schönebeck after a 4-2 win over last-ranked Herforder SV. As often this season, SGS played a solid game but couldn’t pace away from their opponents. The 1,200 in the attendance suffered a little shock in the 44th minute when Herford tied the game as both Saarbrücken and Jena were leading at that point, and Essen would have been deep into relegation trouble again. Yet just one minute later, veteran Melanie Hoffmann converted a penalty kick right before the halftime whistle.
The important games on the last matchday: Championship – Turbine Potsdam vs. SG Essen-Schönebeck and 1.FFC Frankfurt vs. Bayern Munich. With a win, Potsdam defends its title. If Frankfurt gets one point more than Potsdam, they will win the championship. The situation on paper is speaking for Potsdam. Frankfurt faces No. 4 Bayern Munich, who are always good for a surprise. Yet Frankfurt is strong enough to also win the last game of the season. Potsdam faces No. 9 Essen, whose season is done after today’s win. Yet, Essen is a fighting team, and in league action they only lost 1-0 at Turbine.
Relegation: FCR Duisburg vs. 1.FC Saarbrücken and VfL Wolfsburg vs. FF USV Jena. The situation is evidently against Saarbrücken. FCS needs a win, while they need to rely on Wolfsburg’s help to defeat Jena. One point will be enough for FF USV to stay in the league. While Wolfsburg is playing another disappointing season for their standards, they are still expected to defeat Jena. Yet, Saarbrücken would need a little miracle to win at Duisburg. FCS can take some hope from the last season though when they stole a point from Duisburg, which certainly would not be enough next weekend. The insecurity factor at FCR rather is to be seen in the fact that the club suffers major turmoil after firing the coach two weeks ago, which also affected the team.