Steffi Jones admitted to tears as she ended her distinguished playing career by helping 1. FFC Frankfurt to a 4-0 win against SG Wattenscheid 09.
The 34-year-old defender is retiring to concentrate on her role as president of the organising committee for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, a competition she helped Germany win in 2003. Jones also won three UEFA European Women's Championships and two Olympic bronze medals, as well as five German titles and two UEFA Women's Cups with Frankfurt. Jones played 78 minutes before leaving to an ovation as two goals from Petra Wimbersky and one each from Brigit Prinz and Conny Pohlers kept UEFA Women's Cup semi-finalists Frankfurt four points clear of FCR 2001 Duisburg in the Frauen Bundesliga.
'Moving and beautiful'
"It was a strange feeling," Jones said. "I slept badly last night and pictured the scene many times. I did not want to cry, but then I was moved to tears even before kick-off. I would have loved to go out with a headed goal, but it wasn't to be. It was a moving but a very beautiful day." Her now former club and national team-mate Renate Lingor added: "It is sad she is quitting, she has a great personality on the pitch."
Victory strengthened Frankfurt's hold at the league summit as 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam lost 2-1 at home to FC Bayern München, despite Isabel Kerschowski giving them the lead on four minutes. However, Nina Aigner (14) and Julia Simic (26) turned the game on its head and Potsdam slipped to third as FCR 2001 Duisburg moved second with a 5-0 win away to 1. FC Saarbrücken. Inka Grings scored a hat-trick while Stephanie Goddard weighed in with the other two. Elsewhere in Germany there were victories for SC 07 Bad Neuenahr, VfL Wolfsburg and SG Essen-Schönebeck.
Bardolino in form
Frankfurt's opponents in the UEFA Women's Cup semi-finals, ASD CF Bardolino Verona, moved to the top of Serie A with a 6-1 win at previous leaders Torres Terra Sarda to cancel out the three-point gap. Evelyn Vicchiarello scored twice before Patrizia Panico claimed a hat-trick and Valentina Boni converted a penalty.
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