The Weekend Roundup
Missed all the sports action last week? We got you. Every week we bring you the essential news and results to make sure you haven’t missed out.
For Chelsea, the last remaining British side in the Champions League, their bid for a final place didn’t get off to a dream start but all hope isn’t lost. After going behind thanks to a second successive own goal from Magdalena Eriksson after half an hour, it took only another ten minutes for the home side to double their leeds. Chelsea had the opportunity to recoup some of the deficit on the stroke of half time after Ramona Bachmann was judged to have been fouled inside the Lyon area by the Referee. Fran Kirby stuttered in her run up for the penalty and her meek effort was easily saved by Sarah Bouhaddi. It was left to a long range effort from bright youngster Erin Cuthbert to salvage an away goal for Chelsea on 72 minutes. With the tie still alive, Chelsea will need to be more clinical with their opportunities if they are to overcome the European giants back at Kings Meadow.
Whilst Chelsea battled in France, the WSL continued on home soil. Arsenal’s comfortable 2-1 home victory against Everton means they are now within three points of the WSL title with two games left to play. Arsenal however are lucky to have Danielle van de Donk still available for selection for their next clash against Brighton after she pushed the referee but was only given a yellow.
The Championship title has been won by Manchester United after a 7-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace Ladies. The triumph seals promotion to the top tier of Women’s football for the club, who up until this season, had been absent from the game for 13 years. The second automatic promotion place could be sealed by Tottenham if they win their penultimate game away at Aston Villa, as Durham currently sit four points adrift.
Wasps were the big winners at Superleague’s Big Easter Weekend as victories over Surrey Storm and Celtic Dragons moved them three points clear at the top of the table and secured a place in the play-offs. Loughborough Lightning vs Manchester Thunder’s 60-57 epic was the highlight of the weekend, with the result keeping Loughborough three points ahead of Saracens in the race for fourth place. Manchester Thunder and Team Bath kept their respective second and third table places, but the latter will be disappointed to cede ground to Saracens after a 45-51 defeat on Sunday. With only two matches remaining, only holders Wasps can now rest easy.
Great Britain have been outside the Fed Cup World Groups for 26-years, but that long period of exile has been ended. Katie Boulter’s fearsome 6-7 (7-1) 6-4 6-1 comeback against Kazakhstan’s Zarina Diyas sealed promotion. Boulter appeared to be suffering back problems after she went a set an a break down, but braved through the pain to defeat her opponent. Earlier Johanna Konta beat Yulia Putintseva 4-6 6-2 7-5 to leave victory within reach. The London crowd no doubt helped the players which captain Anne Keothavong referenced after the match; ‘It was such an incredible effort. We kept putting ourselves in this position. But I really feel that having the home advantage this time around made a big difference.’
In the World Seven’s Final, England lost to Canada in the most dramatic fashion despite leading throughout the match. The tight 5-0 advantage left no room for error from England. But Canada pushed the fragile lead keeping the ball alive for two minutes after full-time before Ghislaine Landry scored then converted to clinch the silverware. Although the defeat will be tough to stomach for England, the performance moves them to seventh in the rankings moving them closer toward qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.