Two subs strike in 2-0 home win against Duisburg

The Bayer 04 Women’s team are top of the FLYERALARM Women’s Bundesliga at least for tonight. The team coached by Achim Feifel clocked up a second win on matchday two against MSV Duisburg. Feifel certainly made the right decisions with his substitutions: Milena Nikolic and Juliane Wirtz scored for Bayer 04 in the closing stages of the game.

A fast, physical and tough opening promised an exciting encounter at the Ulrich Haberland Stadium on Friday night. The first chance for Leverkusen came through Isabel Kerschowski with a cross from the right flank – Sandra Maria Jessen failed to connect properly and her effort hit the side netting. Duisburg responded immediately when Antonia-Johanna Halverkamps was through on goal in a counter-attack but the ball again ended up in the side netting.

With the next goalscoring opportunity, the new captain Jessica Wich won out in a challenge with two Duisburg players but was only able to shoot with her weaker left foot and her effort went wide of the target. Goalkeeper Anna Klink pulled off a reflex save on 20 minutes to deny Duisburg’s Alina Angerer. After a hectic phase – Leverkusen were more organised in their build-up play, Duisburg proved aggressive in challenges – and then the Feifel team succeeded in settling down and taking more control of the game. There were no clear chances on goal before half-time.

Substitutions pay off

Patience was also at a premium at the start of the second half. The MSV women continued to break up the Werkself build-up play. Achim Feifel reacted on 57 minutes with a triple substitution – and that paid off: Henrietta Csiszár, Milena Nikolic and Juliane Wirtz replaced Dorá Zeller, Henrike Sahlmann and Viktoria Pinther. Bayer 04 then took control of the game. Ivana Rudelic was on the verge of opening the scoring on 65 minutes but she shot just wide of the target. The Black and Reds were more dominant, looked to find the gaps and took more risks; MSV were focussed on defending.

Feifel made the fourth change on 86 minutes bringing on Gianna Rackow in place of Rudelic and three minutes later she produced an assist. Another substitute Nikolic received the ball in a one-two, beat two opponents before putting the ball into the back of the net from close range for a deserved lead. Juliane Wirtz sealed the win in added time when she converted a long ball from Csiszár in the penalty area to make it 2-0.

Head coach Achim Feifel on the match: “In the first half, we didn’t get our tactics right as we planned and we made too many individual mistakes. In the second half, we got forward better, showed more commitment and the technical solutions were better. We really deserved the win in the second half.” And Isabel Kerschowski was also happy after full time: “We’ve had a great start to the season. Six points from the first two games – it couldn’t be better.”

Bayer 04 are top of the table on six points, at least overnight. The FLYERALARM Women’s Bundesliga now takes a break due to the first international fixtures in the new season. The Werkself Women’s team are back in action away to Turbine Potsdam on Sunday, 27 September.

Match stats:
Bayer 04:
Klink – Sahlmann (Wirtz 57’), Brüggemann, Turanyi, Jessen – Kerschowski, Matysik, Wich, Zeller (Csiszár 57’) – Rudelic (Rackow 86’), Pinther (Nikolic 57’)
MSV Duisburg: Kämper – Hochstein, Debitzki, Hilbrands, O'Riordan – Zielinski, Günster – Morina, Hochstein, Halverkamps – Angerer (Lange 73’)
Goals: 1-0 Nikolic (89’), 2-0 Wirtz (90+1’)
Booked: - / Halverkamps
Referee: Kathrin Heimann (Gladbeck)

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