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Bayern women fight back to second place in Bundesliga

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FC Bayern are back in second place in the Allianz Women’s Bundesliga after a 2-1 (2-0) home victory over FF USV Jena. Melanie Behringer (19.) and Dagny Brynjarsdottir (25.) scored for the Bavarians before halftime, and Jena’s Julia Arnold scored a contested goal in the closing minutes (81.) of the game, putting pressure on Bayern up until the end.

In the first game after the international break, Bayern coach Thomas Wörle included Lena Lotzen in the starting lineup, who made her national team comeback recently after coming off an injury layoff; Carina Wenninger started for Viki Schnaderbeck in central defense. The visitors from Thüringen began putting pressure in what was a very physical first opening moments of the match, though the FC Bayern ladies were able to hold off. Bayern then had a number of scoring opportunities after the first 15 minutes, with eventually FCB captain Melanie Behringer curling in a free kick from 18 meters out giving Bayern the 1-0 in the 19th minute. Only a few minutes later, Lena Lotzen set up a pass to Dagny Brynjarsdottir who had no difficulties netting in her second goal of the season for Bayern (25.). Bayern continued creating chances leading up to haltime, ending the first half with a 2-0 lead.

The second half kicked off with no substitutions made, though Daniel Kraus’ team came out looking eager to fight back. Vivianne Miedema began creating chances for Bayern starting in the 57th minute, her first attempt blocked and follow-up shot sent over the net. Jena responded with taking advantage of gaps in the Bayern defense with former Bayern player Ivana Rudelic’s attempt from close range. Shortly afterwards, FCB captain Melanie Behringer created several chances, her first shot from 40 meters out bouncing just before goal and her second blocked just before goal again. In the last ten minutes of the game, Julia Arnold was able to curl in a Jena corner but was cleared by Leonie Maier at the goal line, though to everyone’s amazement referee Riem Hussein awarded to goal to Jena (81.), giving the visitors hope to equalize. Defender Nora Holstad came on in the last few minutes of the game and helped secure Bayern a well-deserved 2-1.

In the post-match press conference, Bayern coach Thomas Wörle seemed pleased with his team’s performance: “It was the difficult game we expected it to be. Jena was very aggressive with their tackles, but we held our own very well. After the break, it was up to us to take the decision into our own hands, though unfortunately  we let the game slip away. In the end it was a completely well-deserved victory for us. We’re glad we did our homework and now we just need two more wins to secure our participation in the Champions League.”

As a result of today’s win, FC Bayern (50.) remain right behind league leaders VfL Wolfsburg (51.) in the Allianz Women’s Bundesliga, Third-placed Frankfurt, who contested their game during the week due to today’s Champions League game, remain in the Bundesliga title race.

Away game next Sunday against Herforder SV

Next Sunday, FC Bayern travel to Herforder SV to take on the soon-to-be relegated side at 2 p.m. CET. On May 10th, Bayern play their last and deciding game at home, where they will host SGS Essen at the Grünwalder Stadion.

To relive today’s game click here to follow DFB’s liveticker.

FC Bayern München – FF USV Jena 2:1 (2:0)

Stadion an der Grünwalder Straße

Attendance: 520

FC Bayern München: Korpela, Lewandowski, Abbé, Behringer, Leupolz, Miedema (67. Feiersinger) (86. Holstad), Lotzen (79. Beckmann), Brynjarsdottir, Wenninger, Maier, Manieri

FF USV Jena: Michel, Percival, Hausicke (79. Julien), Utes, Hearn, Heinze (70. Beil), Landeka, Hartmann, Rudelic, Arnold, Schiewe

Goals: 1:0 Melanie Behringer (19.), 2:0 Melanie Behringer (25.), 2:1 Julia Arnold (82.)

Yellow cards: Gina Lewandowski (39.) / Ivonne Hartmann (57.), Ivana Rudelic (82.), Christina Julien (84.)