VAVEL's Round-up of all the action you might have missed over the 16 first leg Round of 32 ties from this season's UEFA Women's Champions League.
BIIK Kazygurt (Kazakhstan) 3-1 AGSM Verona (Italy)
The first of this season’s UWCL knock-out games kicked off in Kazakhstan where the Kazakhstani champions shocked the Italian runners up. The hosts took an early lead through Charity Adule, just three minutes into the game and Verona were on the back foot very much struggling to deal with the rain and wind.
Italian misery doubled nine minutes later when Gulnara Gabelia made it two for the hosts, although the visitors fought back and reduced the deficit in the second-half through experienced Melania Gabbiadini it was for naught as Gabelia added her second of the game with ten minutes left. Well below par, Verona are more than capable of turning the fixture around at home with Kazygurt historically fading on the road after playing their best at home, however heading into next week’s tie, Kazygurt hold all the cards.
KKPK Medyk Konin (Poland) 4-3 ACF Brescia (Italy)
The Italian champions were the next team in action on Wednesday and just like the runners up, they too had travelled East and just like their Serie A counterparts, Brescia were doomed to defeat. After taking the lead through Barbara Bonansea the visitors were pegged back ten minutes later by superb goal from Liliana Kostova, the Bulgarian attacker digging the ball into the top corner after dancing through the defence. But the visitors managed to get their noses back in front courtesy of captain Valentina Cernoia’s direct free kick just before half-time.
With twenty minutes left to play Daniela Sabatino made it 1-3 and that should have been that but the Polish champions battled back and three goals in eight minutes saw them take a 4-3 lead with just six minutes left. Aleksandra Sikora was the first to get the ball rolling before 37 year-old captain, Anna Gawrońska equalised just three minutes later, Kostova putting the gloss on to complete the breath-taking come-back.
Conditions were far from ideal and despite the nature of the game, there is still just one goal in it, Brescia with three away goals on their side won’t be willing to roll over for the home tie and with it all to play for will give Medyk Konin another good match.
SFK 2000 Sarajevo (Bosnia) 0-0 WFC Rossiyanka (Russia)
Despite their best efforts – and 18 shots – the newly crowned Russian champions couldn’t break the deadlock in Bosnia left frustrated by an in form Almina Hodžić in the home goal, Rossiyanka just need a win at home next week.
Breiðablik UBK (Iceland) 0-1 FC Rosengård (Sweden)
Much like the first two ties of the day, the conditions in Iceland were far from conducive, the game very nearly called off due to the lashing rain and whipping wind. The hosts were under the cosh from the beginning, and when Lotta Schelin opened the scoring in the eight minute it looked like a long day ahead for the hosts.
However Breiðablik weathered the proverbial storm as well as they weathered the actual storm around them, Sonný Lára Þráinsdóttir in fine form as the visitors peppered her goal, pulling off nine big saves to keep the hosts in the tie. Conditions promise to be far better in Malmö next week but whether the visitors will be able to resist the might of Rosengård for another ninety minutes remains to be seen.
Sturm Graz (Austria) 0-6 FC Zürich (Switzerland)
In their first season in the UWCL, the ÖFB-Frauenliga runners-up couldn’t have started on a worse note against a thoroughly dominant Zurich side. After making the switch to the Nationalliga from the NWSL, Canadian international Adriana Leon got her UWCL debut off to a flying start, giving the hosts the advantage two minutes into the game.
Despite being under constant fire in the home goal, Anna-Carina Kristler did well to resist Zurich’s efforts again until after the half hour, succumbing to Leon once more before the break. But the visitors were only getting started and made the second-half one to forget for the hosts, 21 year-old Sanni Franssi added a third after the hour before Leon rounded off her hat trick four minutes later.
Having already secured the match-ball Leon was felled in the area by Irina Wurzinger just five minutes later, Jana Adámková had no hesitation in showing Wurzinger a red and awarding Zurich a penalty. Selina Kuster converted from the spot with ease for a fifth against the soundly beaten Austrians but there was still time for more misery as Zurich captain Fabienne Humm made it six in stoppage time.
Unfortunately for Sturm with 90 minutes still to play in Switzerland the tie is as good as over.
Apollon Limassol (Cyprus) 1-1 SK Slavia Praha (Czech Republic)
After a goalless first-half the hosts may have been left frustrated having edged their opponents but with nothing to show for it but their luck looked to have changed when Melissa Henderson was fouled in the box by Veronika Pincová and Elvira Nurmustafina awarded the hosts a penalty. Italian international Lisa Alborghetti the one tasked with the spot kick, she finished cooly past Barbora Votíková to give the hosts the edge.
For the most part the two sides were evenly matched and when the hosts wanted to shut up shop in the last knockings that’s when Slavia mounted one last push, keeping their Champions League dreams alive with a last second equaliser from Pincová. The reverse leg in Prague is set to be a tasty contest.
Avaldsnes IL (Norway) 2-5 Olympique Lyonnais (France)
Making their first bow in the competition Avaldsnes couldn’t have asked for tougher opposition, having been drawn against last season’s winners and general dominant force, Lyon. Madalyn Schiffel’s first real involvement in the game was to pick out Saki Kumagai’s well taken penalty in the seventh minute, a long 83 minutes lay ahead for the young American.
Eugénie Le Sommer made it two in the 20 minute but the hosts were determined to give the French champions a game and Elise Thorsnes reduced the difference to just one, three minutes later with a sublime solo goal. Very few teams could say they got in at half-time against Lyon only down 2-1 but the holders continued their onslaught and experienced midfielder Camille Abily made it three not long after the break.
Once again pegged back by the tireless Avaldsnes side when Hege Hansen made it 2-3 just four minutes later but again captain Abily was there for the visitors to reopen the advantage a yet another of Dzsenifer Marozsán’s corners. The match wrapped up when Ada Hegerberg added a fifth on home soil with less than five minutes of the match left.
With 22 total shots, 11 of which found the target and two that left the woodwork shuddering it’s a testament to Avaldsnes that they were able to keep themselves in the game, Lyon was always going to be a tough tough test but they put in a respectable performance. Even had they not been up against the best side in Europe a 5-2 deficit is just too much for any team to turn over, especially away.
FC Twente (Holland) 2-0 AC Sparta Praha (Czech Republic)
Despite there being no goals until the last ten minutes the fans in the De Grolsch Veste were treated to a fine contest between two evenly matched teams who were both vying for the win, the deadlock broken by the hosts in spectacular fashion eleven minutes from time.
After Siri Worm’s corner was headed against the crossbar by Maruschka Waldus the Dutch defender followed the ball on it’s way back into the box, catching the ball on the half-volley twelve yards out she hooked it over the defence and into the far corner. The match wrapped up in stoppage time when Jill Roord made it two with a clinical free kick, the ball swung over the wall and delivered into the top corner.
The match was a close thing and Sparta will like their chances at home, for Twente there’s little room for error.
Athletic Club (Spain) 2-1 Fortuna Hjørring (Denmark)
In what was set to be one of the ties of the round the current Danish champions journeyed to the San Mamés hoping for some luck on the road. Yulema Corres gave the 9,127 strong crowd something to cheer about ten minutes before the break after connecting with Ainhoa Vicente’s pin-point cross to knock the ball past Maria Christensen.
After the break, Karoline Smidt’s fine looping header temporarily restored parity before 18 year-old Maite Oroz gave the hosts the win ten minutes from time, toe-poking the ball past Christensen at her near post.
At 2-1 the tie is still wide open, Fortuna’s away goal could yet prove to be massive but Athletic are more than capable of matching the Danes every step of the way and the reverse leg promises to be a classic.
Chelsea (England) 0-3 VfL Wolfsburg (Germany)
Zsanett Jakabfi was the player on fire for the visiting Germans at Stamford Bridge. Despite a muted opening ten minutes when Wolfsburg settled into the game they made Chelsea’s first game at the Bridge one to forget, taking a twelfth minute lead through Jakabfi’s neat volleyed lob.
Although the hosts posed a threat as Eni Aluko looked to get in behind Nilla Fischer it was the visiting team who claimed the second goal, Lara Dickenmann’s arced cross firmly headed into the turf by the Hungarian international as Hedvig Lindahl was beaten at her near post.
Despite good attacking intent shown after the break with the introduction of Gemma Davison as the Blues looked to reduce the deficit the sub-par defence was the host’s undoing, with Caroline Graham Hansen repeatedly running in behind. One ball over the top was all it took to set Hansen away, drawing defenders and keeper towards her as she broke into the box, Jakabfi was there to hammer the squared ball into the waiting net.
Although Ralf Kellermann has refused to rule anything out it would take one mighty comeback from Chelsea in Germany to see them progress.
FSK St. Pölten-Spratzern (Austria) 0-2 Brøndby IF (Denmark)
In a game that could have finished with a far greater scoreline, Brøndby will be happy to take a two goal advantage back to Copenhagen next week. Dominant throughout the ten-time Danish champions took the lead half-way through the first-half as Nicoline Sørensen ghosted unmarked into the box to connect with a perfectly weighted cross and head beyond 17-year-old 'keeper, Isabella Kresche.
Kresche kept busy for the full 90 minutes as the Danes ran riot, her goal under constant threat the young keeper only left to pluck the ball from the net behind her once more in the game. Sørensen with her second of the game just after the hour, as Simone Boye’s flashed cross skimmed off of her shins and into the unguarded goal.
Although the Austrians only require two unanswered goals to take the away leg to extra time it seems unlikely they’ll be able to halt the Danes at home, even though they have goals in them.
Hibernian (Scotland) 0-6 FC Bayern Munich (Germany)
With spirts high around Easter Road it was a Wednesday for Hibs to forget as an imperious Bayern Munich hit the hosts for six. Stephanie van der Gragt opened her account for the German champions with a powerful header at Verena Faißt’s sixth minute corner, Jenna Fife yet another keeper to be done at her near post.
Dutch international Vivianne Miedema doubled the advantage for the visitors twenty minutes later, running onto Sara Däbritz's gorgeous pass to slot the ball past Fife once again, at her near post before Faißt got her second assist of the game, whipping a cross in for Melanie Leupolz to nod past Fife (once again, at her near post).
The onslaught didn’t stop after the break and once again the visitors were wheeling away in celebration after Miedema knocked Lisa Evans’ weighted ball into the vacant side of the goal. In an “anything you can do, I can do better” moment, Leupolz matched Miedema’s brace, adding a second of her own volleying the ball into the far corner on the stretch after Claire Williamson had acrobatically cleared the ball off of the line.
Four minutes after Leupolz had made it five, Melanie Behringer capped off the win from the spot. Fife unable to keep the captain out. The last action of the night was Nicole Rolser slamming her penalty against the post seven minutes from time to keep the score below seven. Hot Chocolate might believe in miracles but it seems unlike that the plucky club from Edinburgh can overturn the six goal deficit in Munich.
Thursday - ZFK Minsk (Belarus) 0-3 FC Barcelona (Spain)
The visiting Catalonians started the game brighter and took an early lead through Jenni Hermoso after being found by Marta Torrejón’s squared pass just five minutes into the game. The visitors were out for blood and Torrejón turned from creator to scorer just after the half hour, volleying home after Hermoso’s knock down at Alexia Putellas’s corner.
Ekaterina Kovalchuk did well to keep the hosts in it with a spectacular save late in the half although her teammates found Sandra Paños in equally good form when they tried to attack and couldn’t get past the Spanish international. With only stoppage time left and the hosts looking for more luck in Spain, Hermoso put the tie to bed, firing the ball past Kovachuk and into the top corner in stoppage time, the Belarussians as good as done.
Eskilstuna United DFF (Sweden) 1-0 Glasgow City (Scotland)
Evenly matched throughout in Sweden, Glasgow fell to a narrow defeat after Mimmi Larsson opened the scoring for Eskilstuna five minutes after the restart. Mostly cancelled out by each other, the return leg promises to be a hard fought contest
LSK Kvinner (Norway) 3-1 Paris Saint-Germain (France)
With both teams understanding the gravity of the game, neither were willing to give an inch, the match more like a game of chess than football. The visitors were the first ones wheel away in celebration after Irene Paredes got ahead of her marker at a whipped free kick, firing the ball beyond Lill Yvonne Karlsrud.
The hosts responded in excellent fashion after the break, working Katarzyna Kiedrzynek more and more and were rewarded with an equaliser after Emilie Haavi ran onto Lene Mykjåland’s through ball, taking a touch into the box Haavi arced the ball over Kiedrzynek and under the bar.
Fifteen minutes later Mykjåland’s turned from creator to hero, connecting with Anja Sønstevold’s flashed ball to fire the hosts into the lead. The comeback completed two minutes from time when Ingrid Marie Spord volleyed Isabell Herlovsen’s flick on over the line from two yards out. Resilience and composure from the hosts to give them the edge going into the reverse fixture.
Manchester City (England) 2-0 Zvezda 2005 Perm (Russia)
In a tight contest, the host secured their first ever win in the competition, Jill Scott fired the Citizens ahead after a period of sustained first-half pressure. Struggling against a resolute defence, it looked like City would only be carrying a one goal advantage into the away leg before Lucy Bronze struck a stoppage time second, lashing the ball into the bottom corner in the melee after a corner.