After five home wins in succession, the winning run came to an end this weekend: The Werkself Women had to settle for a point against SV Meppen. With a sunny 28 degrees and a strong wind at Kurtekotten, Leverkusen took control early on as expected. The first good chance came after just two minutes: From a short corner, the ball was played to Milena Nikolic in the penalty area but the top scorer just failed to connect. With the ensuing second corner, the former Leverkusen player Laura Sieger in goal collided with one of her teammates and the Meppen keeper had to be be substituted.
Bayer 04 pressed well and kept creating good chances – as on 12 minutes when Mina Tanaka picked out her fellow striker Milena Nikolic. Shortly after that, the Japan international tried unsuccessfully to score from a tight angle but, as with Nikolic before, was denied by the substitute keeper Kari Närdemann. Then Isabel Kerschowski hit a cross from the right into the opposition penalty area. Nikolic caused Närdemann to concede another corner. Dora Zeller appeared to have finally broken the deadlock from a long ball but the assistant referee raised her flag. But the next effort on goal counted with Tanaka having her first shot saved but then forcing the ball over the line – 1-0 (39’). Meppen had virtually nothing to offer at that point and scarcely had a shot on goal. However, in added time at the end of the first half, the team from Emsland pressed forward and after the Bayer 04 defence lost two aerial duels Jannelle Flaws tried her luck. Anna Klink got her finger tips to the ball but was unable to keep it out – 1-1 (45+2’).
At the start of the second half, Achim Feifel brought on Sylwia Matysik and Frederike Kempe for Henrike Sahlmann and Gianna Rackow. The Werkself Women again took control of proceedings but Meppen appeared to be more confident after the restart and only conceded a few chances to the host with some good positional play. The game became more open over the course of the second half and Meppen also looked to create chances on goal. Bianca Becker put the ball just over the bar on 63 minutes. Bayer 04 looked to be constructive in their build-up play but were challenged more quickly than before. Five minutes later, Nikolic beat two Meppen players. The 28-year-old kept her cool hit the ball into the back of the net to restore the lead – 2-1 (68’).
Feifel brought on fresh legs late on with the introduction of Juliane Wirtz (for Kristin Kögel) and Pauline Machtens (for Henrietta Csiszar) – it was the first game of the season for Machtens – and she had plenty to do. Meppen threatened again in the final minutes: A corner saw the ball go just wide of the woodwork and then substitute Linda Preuß received a long ball and turned it into the bottom left corner of the net to level at 2-2 (82’). The closing stages were not only exciting but also physical. Bayer 04 were awarded a free kick – however, the final Leverkusen attempt on goal from Isabel Kerschowski was unsuccessful with ball ending up in the arms of the SV keeper who initiated the last attack from the visitors. Klink had to save a long-range effort to secure a point in a more evenly balanced second half.
“We didn’t perform on the pitch today as we intended by putting the opposition under pressure with aggressive pressing. We didn’t do enough over the 90 minutes and there were too many errors when we were in possession. That’s why Meppen deserved the point and we have to accept that,” said Achim Feifel after the game. Kristin Kögel added: “We hoped for more and wanted to take all three points from the game so we are obviously disappointed with the result. We’ll analyse the whole game, build on that and then hopefully do better against Bayern.”
FC Bayern visit the Ulrich Haberland Stadium in two weeks on Sunday, 23 May. On the penultimate matchday, all games in the FLYERALARM Women’s Bundesliga kick off at 13.30 CEST. The Werkself match will be broadcast live on Eurosport and on the pay TV channel MagentaSport.
Bayer 04: Klink – Kerschowski, Brüggemann, Turanyi, Sahlmann (Kempe 46’) – Rackow (Matysik 46’), Csiszar (Machtens 69’), Kögel (Wirtz 69’), Zeller – Tanaka, Nikolic
SV Meppen: Sieger (Närdemann 6’) – Weiss, Emmerling, Ihlenburg (Jaron 73’), Krug, Schulte, Becker, Berentzen (Preuß 74’), Flaws (Winczo 58’), Goad, Endemann (Josten 58’)
Goals: 1-0 Tanaka (39’), 1-1 Flaws (45+2’), 2-1 Nikolic (68’), 2-2 Preuß (82’)
Booked: - / Preuss
Referee: Mirka Derlin (Bad Schwartau)
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