UEFA women’s Champions League is moving a little head of the men’s competition with first-leg quarterfinals having already been played on March 21 & 22, 2015 at different venues in Europe. Except the 5-0 drubbing of Bristol Academy WFC by three-time champions FFC Frankfurt, other three quarterfinal matches still kept the hopes of first-leg losers alive. Though Scottish club Glasgow city suffered 0-2 loss against Paris Saint-Germain, Glasgow’s coach and captain are confident of overturning the deficit in the second-leg match. Reigning champions VfL Wolfsburg were involved in a frustrating 1-1 draw against Swedish club FC Rosengard. In the other first-leg QF game, Danish football club Brondby IF defeated Swedish club Linkoping 1-0. Four semifinalists will finally emerge after three second leg matches are played on March 28 and the last on March 29, 2015. As per the semifinal draw already announced, two first legs matches will be played on April 18 & 19, 2015 between winners of Wolfsburg/Rosengard Vs. winners of Glasgow City FC/PSG and Frankfurt/Bristol Vs. Linköping/Brondby. Two winners will go to Berlin for the Grand Finale on May 14, 2015 at the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark Stadium.
In the only first-leg quarterfinal on March 21, 2015, Three-time UEFA champions 1.FFC Frankfurt began with a great leap forward, scoring a smashing 5-0 first-leg victory over Bristol Academy WFC. It was the first ever QF entry for Bristol in women’s Champions League after they succeeded in eliminating FC Barcelona in the round-of-16 matches. But the English side came a cropper against the forceful German team. One reason for Bristol’s poor performance was attributable to the absence of several key players, who had been playing in the league phase and later in round-of-16 matches. Regardless, they fought bravely despite conceding two goals before halftime. In 36th minute, Frankfurt captain Kerstin Garefrekes released Veronica Boquete, who calmly beat Bristol goalkeeper Mary Earps. Frankfurt enhanced their lead to 2-0 at the stroke of half-time, when Boquete set up Bianca Schmidt, who was too smart for Earps at the near post. After the break, FFC Frankfurt continued to dominate proceedings and yet again it was Veronica Boquete, who set up the 66th minute third goal in teeing up the ball to Dzsenifer Marozsan, whose powerful shot made it 3-0. Then in the 78th minute, substitute Mandy Islacker made it 4-0 by smashing a loose ball inside the box. Islacker also had her role in the fifth and final goal, when her looping shot struck the crossbar and captain Garefrekes was on spot for tapping in the rebound.
In the all Scandinavian first-leg QF match on March 22, 2015, the Denmark women came on top as their team Brondby IF defeated Swedish club Linkopings FC 1-0 in Linkopings arena in Sweden. Though Brondby looked a better team, they couldn’t score goal themselves and the match was decided by a 14th minute own goal by Sweden defender Charlotte Rohlin, who put the ball in her own net by an act of inadvertence. Linkopings will have a tough time, when they play the return-leg QF at Copenhagen on March 28, 2015.
Three-time winners of the UEFA women’s Champions League, VfS Wolfsburg played a neat and controlled game against another Swedish club Rosengard, who were content in waiting for counter-attacking opportunities. Wolfsburg’s Caroline Hansen missed a good opportunity early on and Rosengard forward Anja Mittag also squandered a chance. The first goal came from Marta, who pounced on a lovely feed from Anja Mittag assist to open the scoring in the 56th minute. But the scores were leveled by Verena Faisst 10 minutes later. No more goals could come in the remaining time. With Hansen being sent off the field in the 70th minute, Wolfsburg‘s chances of scoring further were severely hampered and the match ended as a draw.
In the first-leg QF between Glasgow City FC and Paris Saint-Germain, hosts yielded a 2-0 victory to Frenchwomen. Now everything will rest on their away game in Paris on Saturday. The PSG held an upper hand in the match with a goal in each half. The first goal came in the 19th minute, when Laure Boulleau sent a cross from the left and Anissa Lahmari was in a great position to ease the ball into the goal from close range. A few minutes later, Glasgow goalkeeper Lee Alexander made a great save to a shot by Marie-Laure Delie and prevented PSG taking the 2-0 lead. But PSG’s second goal did come 8 minutes into the second half, when Delie sent a pass to Kheira Hamraoui, who slotted nicely into the corner of the goal. After the match, Glasgow captain Leanne Ross and head coach Eddie Wolecki Black told media that their teams had the capability of engineering a comeback when they go for their return leg quarterfinal in Parc Des Princes in Paris on Saturday.
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