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Bayern Munich survive red card scare to stay atop the Frauen-Bundesliga

Just three matchdays remain.

Bayern Muenchen v SGS Essen - Allianz Frauen-Bundesliga Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images

The FC Bayern Frauen are closing in on a championship season in the Bundesliga after a 2-1 at win over SGS Essen. Bayern Munich scored a quick-fire first half double in a lead that proved insurmountable, despite a second-half red card for center-back Saki Kumagai. With just three games left in the season, things are looking good — but the race to the finish line is tight. VfL Wolfsburg are only one point behind.

Highlights from the match below:

Lea Schüller nearly tapped home early from an excellently driven Klara Bühl cross, only to be denied by Sophia Winkler’s excellent reflexes in goal. She would get her rewards in the 34th minute, however, latching onto a looping delivery from Carolin Simon with a header — intercepted, but only after it had crossed the line.

Minutes later, Bühl would notch her contribution as well. Her dangerous delivery from a corner bounced off a defender into the danger zone, where Lina Magull pounced and fired home for her seventh league goal of the season.

Winkler was really on her game, denying Schüller again on a golden chance after the Bayern striker split the center-backs with ease and was found by Georgia Stanway. The saves kept Essen in the game, and in the 59th minute Kumagai dragged down Vivien Endemann after the latter had been played through on goal, earning her an instant red card.

The red card put the Bavarians under pressure for the game’s final thirty minutes, and Essen pounced immediately: Natasha Kowalski’s ensuing free kick, just outside the box, swerved past Bayern’s wall and found the back of Mala Grohs’ net.

It was still Bayern who kept on the pressure, though; an additional set of super saves from Winkler, plus a lucky deflection off the post, kept their chances alive. But in the end, Bayern survived and have a vital three points heading into the last stretch of the Frauen-Bundesliga campaign.

Hoffenheim are next on Friday.

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