Last year, VfL Wolfsburg defeated Tyreso FF of Sweden on May 22 at Lisbon two days ahead of the men’s Champions League Match between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. Somehow Tyreso have not been able to reach quarterfinals this season and VfL Wolfsburg have a great chance to win the Champions League for third year in a row. In the last eight, there is another German team; FFC Frankfurt but quarterfinal draw has kept the two German sides apart and they can only meet in the final, if they keep winning. There are two sides from Sweden as well. FC Rosengard and Linkopings FC have also been drawn to meet only in the final provided they win their quarterfinal and semifinal games. Other four quarterfinalists are; Bristol Academy WFC from England; Glasgow City FC from Scotland; Paris Saint-Germain from France and Brondby IF from Denmark. It is an encouraging fact for the German sides that last seven years have seen winners only from Germany.
The first leg quarterfinal matches will be played on March 21 & 22 and the second leg on March 28 and 29, 2015 and as per the line-up, FFC Frankfurt will take on Bristol Academy WFC; VfL Wolfsburg will play FC Rosengard; Glasgow City FC will meet Paris Saint-Germain and Linkopings FC will take on Brondby IF. There won’t be a separate draw for the semifinals to be played on April 18/19 and April 25/26, 2015 and Winners between Wolfsburg and Rosengard will take on the winners between Glasgow and Paris while the second semifinal matches will be held between winners of Frankfurt/Bristol match and winners between Linkopings & Brondby. Once both semifinal legs are completed, the two finalists will meet in Berlin to decide the Champions League 2014-15 winner on May 14, 2015 at the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark.
The QF draw brought out some interesting facts. While it is already mentioned above that Wolfsburg are chasing their third straight title, they are also the only team from last year’s quarter-finals to make the grade yet again. FFC Frankfurt will be trying to become the first club to win four titles. Another interesting fact is that Glasgow City FC are the first Scottish quarter-finalists and the only team to survive the qualifying rounds. Other than Glasgow, Paris St. Germain and Bristol Academy WFC have also reached the QF round for the first time.
The progress of the eight quarterfinalists to this year’s Women’s Champions League has been story of mixed bags. Frankfurt suffered consecutive losses to leaders Wolfsburg and FC Bayern Munich before they came up with a big 4-0 win at MSV Duisburg that brought them to the fourth spot. For Bristol Academy, it is the first time to finish so high in the League. They will suffer from some of their key players leaving the team. Star performers Natalia and Jemma Rose have both crossed over to Arsenal LFC while Natasha Harding is joining Washington Spirit in US. Somehow, Bristol has been able to hold midfielder Sophie Ingle. Wolfsburg are the most accomplished team in the draw with victories in 2013 and 2014. They have also retained the German title. They finished the league with an exciting 2-1 last moments’ victory over SC Sand, in which the brilliant Martina Müller scored the winning goal 3 minutes from the end of extra time. They have fortified their strength recently with Julia Simic joining them from Postdam. Julia is a midfielder and playmaker of extraordinary capability and her addition to the team will boost Wolfsburg’s chances.
FC Rosengard of Sweden are champions of the Swedish league and they have strengthened their squad by securing the mercurial Brazilian forward Marta on a three-year contract. In addition, Rosengard have also acquired Emma Berglund from Umea IK. Like Rosengard, Glasgow are also league champions in Scotland and they have recently benefitted from a good deal in the transfer market. Hayley Lauder has joined them from Swedish Club Vittsjo GIK along with Hamilton Academical WFC goalkeeper Megan Cunningham. They have also acquired Irish midfielder Denise O’Sullivan on two-year contract.
Paris Saint Germain had a seven-match winning run in their home league with their only defeat coming against league leaders Lyon. Linkopings FC is another Swedish side in the draw and they would their best to move further in the Champions’ League. They had finished in the Swedish League and they have recently brought Wendy Andersson of Alta IF as the new goalkeeper. But they have lost goalkeeper, Hilde Gunn Olsen, defender Jennie Nordin, midfielder Jessica Silva and striker Linda Saillstrom. The last side in the quarterfinal draw is Denmark’s Brondby IF. They ended the year with wins in 6 games in the Danish league with a five-point lead over the fancied club Fortuna Hiorring. Brondby are also in the semifinal of the Danish Cup, which they have already won for the last 5 years in a row.
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