UEFA Women's Champions League Qualifying - Matchday One Round-up: Bids to be in the knockout round begin

There was good news in Wales, but little else for those in the British Isles to cheer about.

UEFA Women's Champions League Qualifying - Matchday One Round-up: Bids to be in the knockout round begin
Cardiff Met celebrate going top of their top with a 4-0 win over NSA Sofia. (Photo: Cardiff Met University)

Qualifying for the 2016-17 UEFA Women's Champions League began on Tuesday, with 36 teams in action across nine groups, in nine countries.

Making the home advantage count

Group 1 in this year's qualifying campaign is hosted by Apollon Limassol, and if round one is anything to go by, they are going to use their home advantage to the full.

KÍ Klaksvík felt the full force of this on Tuesday, as the Cypriots emerged 5-0 winners in their clash with the side from the Faroe Islands.

Two goals right at the end of the first half got them up and running, with Julia Molin and Maegan Kelly giving the home side a 2-0 lead at the break.

And when Ragna Patawary conceded a penalty early in the second half, fouling Kyriaki Kynossidou, the game was put to bed as Lisa Alborghetti converted from the spot.

Apollon would add to their tally though, Florentia Antoniou scoring in the latter stages of the second half and Paige Nielsen bagging a fifth in the final minute of the 90.

The win means the home side top Group 1, as the other game in the group was one of just two draws on Tuesday. That was a 1-1 result between PAOK and HajvaliaZelfie Bajramaj putting the latter ahead before Natalia Chatzigiannidou equalised.

Apollon weren't the only host club to end the day top of their group either.

Cardiff Met University were the happy side in Wales, beating NSA Sofia 4-0 while Spartak Subotica and Breiðablik drew 1-1.

In Poland, Medyk Konin were top dogs on goal difference, bettering Olimpia Cluj's 7-1 hammering of Pärnu JK with a 9-0 win over Breznica.

Meanwhile, in Croatia, Osijek also sit at the summit of their group. They defeated ZFK Dragon 14-1 to leapfrog FC Minsk, who were victorious against Standard Liège but only by a 3-1 scoreline.

Finally, goal difference was also enough in Slovenia to put Pomurje above FC Zürich. The former, despite trailing 1-0 at the break, beat Vllaznia 6-1, whereas the Swiss side could only down Slovan Bratislava 3-1.

Cardiff Met do battle with NSA Sofia. (Photo: Cardiff Met University)
Cardiff Met do battle with NSA Sofia. (Photo: Cardiff Met University)

Keeping up with the pace

The action in groups 1 to 5 kept the locals happy then, but groups 6 and 9 also appeased those who had come out to watch their country's representatives in qualifying.

In Bosnia, Sarajevo are only in second due to a goal differential of one. Zhytlobud Kharkiv are at the summit after beating Rīgas FS 2-0, which was better than SFK's slender 1-0 win over Ramat HaSharon - slender and dramatic, with Armisa Kuč popping up with the winner only two minutes from time.

Meanwhile, FC Twente's 2-1 victory over Ferencváros was job done, but the Dutch side are again just off the pace in their homeland - Konak Belediyespor top after beating Hibernians 5-0.

FC Twente celebrate as they open up qualifying with a win. (Photo: FC Twente)
FC Twente celebrate as they open up qualifying with a win. (Photo: FC Twente)

Little to cheer about in the British Isles

While Cardiff Met are top of their group, Northern Ireland's Newry City and the Republic of Ireland's Wexford Youths were on the wrong end of results on Tuesday.

Newry City were hammered 11-0 by Norway's Avaldsnes - one of the most recognisable names in this qualifying round. Norwegian internationals Cecilie Pedersen and Hege Hansen certainly enjoyed the game too, scoring four and three goals respectively in the thrashing.

With PK-35 Vantaa only losing 2-1 to CF Benfica, the results mean the Northern Irish side sit bottom of the group after day one.

As for Wexford, they are second from bottom after losing 3-1 to BIIK Kazygurt. The Kazakhs took the lead after less than a minute through Georgian forward Gulnara Gabelia, and the score was three by the break.

Claire O' Riordan got the Irish outfit on the board in the second period, but it could not inspire a comeback.

ARF Criuleni are bottom of the group though, with Gintra Universitetas 13-0 winners in their clash. Tetyana Kozyrenko bagged four in the rout, while Simona Veličkaitė also netted a hat-trick but nothing more.

The next round of games in the qualifying round will take place this Thursday, 25 August.