KMay 7, 2012
AUCKLAND – Greg Draper's 25th goal of the season helped fire Welsh League Champions The New Saints to victory in the Welsh Cup Final, while a loss in the Frauen Bundesliga for Ria Percival’s FFC Frankfurt ended her club’s chances of a league, cup and Champions League treble.
Draper netted in the 14th minute to set TNS on their way to a 2-0 win over Cefn Druids which adds a second piece of silverware to the club’s trophy cabinet after clinching the league late last month.
Draper’s goal scoring form will do his chances of appearing in a second Olympic Games no harm, although with the likes of Marco Rojas, Chris Wood, Kosta Barbarouses and perhaps an overage striker like Shane Smeltz to add to fill a few attacking spots in an 18 man squad, extra squad positions for forwards are at a premium.
The chance of a double is still alive for Ria Percival although a treble is no longer a possibility after FFC Frankfurt’s 3-1 loss to league leaders Turbine Potsdam, ended Frankfurt’s title aspirations.
Frankfurt and Percival, who is enjoying an extended run in the starting line up, still have next weekend’s DFB Cup final against Bayern Munich to look forward to, as well as the UEFA Women’s Champion League final against Olympique Lyon on May 18.
With Frankfurt six points behind second placed Wolfsburg in the league, Frankfurt’s chances of qualifying for next season’s Champions League may rest on wining this season’s European title.
Ryan Nelsen’s chance of playing Champions League football next season improved as 10-man Tottenham grabbed a 1-1 at Aston Villa, squeezing back into the English Premiership’s top four ahead of Newcastle.
Nelsen was again an unused sub for Spurs, who will book a European ticket with victory over Fulham next weekend unless Chelsea subsequently win this season’s Champions League final against Bayern Munich on May 20.
Back in Germany, Sarah Gregorius was on the score sheet in Bad Neuenahr’s 5-0 win over Anna Green’s Lokomotive Leipzig who remain under threat of relegation.
Amber Hearn’s USV Jena are three points clear of Leipzig but are still in danger of being overhauled after a 0-1 loss to Hamburger SV that secured the latter’s top flight status.
Meanwhile, Rebecca Smith and Wolfsburg are pushing hard for the German title with a 3-0 win over Freiburg that keeps them one-point behind Potsdam and well placed to take advantage of any slip ups.
Rory Fallon has made and earlier than expected return from injury, starting for Aberdeen in a 1-1 draw at Kilmarnock. Fallon clocked up a valuable 69 minutes to prove himself fit for consideration for Ricki Herbert’s squad for upcoming World Cup qualifiers in the Solomon Islands.
Kiwis were among the goals in Scandinavia, with Kris Bright netting Bryne’s goal in a 1-1 draw with Alta in Norway’s first division to add to the two goals he registered in a 4-1 cup victory midweek, while former All White Chris James was on the score sheet for Kuopion Palloseura in a 2-1 loss to MYPA in the Finnish Veikkausliiga (premier league).
Across the border in Sweden, Ali Riley’s Malmo notched a 2-0 win at Piteå to stay top of the Damallsvenskan on goal difference ahead of Kirsty Yallop’s Vittsjö who beat Linköping 3-0.
It was a mixed week for Michael Fitzgerald and V-Varen Nagasaki in the Japanese Football League (third tier) who lost 0-1 away to FC Ryukyu after winning 4-1 midweek against Tochigi Uva. Fitzgerald scored twice in that victory, meaning he has now scored three goals in his last five matches.
All Whites striker Chris Killen didn’t add to his season tally on the weekend, but will welcome Chongqing’s 2-1 victory over Beijing Baxy that lifts his side to seventh in China League One.
It has been relatively quiet on the North American front with All Whites fighting for opportunities.
Dan Keat was on the bench for the LA Galaxy in a 0-1 home defeat to New York Red Bulls, while Michael Boxall is biding his time by playing for Vancouver Whitecaps U-23 side in the USL Professional Development League. A 15th minute goal and a clean sheet in his side’s 3-0 win over Kitsap Pumas will help his case.