With both first-leg semifinals in the women’s champion league ending in goalless draws, the two teams, which will play in the final at Lisbon on May 22, 2014 will be decided by the results of the second leg semifinal meetings on Sunday, April 27, 2014.
In the match played between Birmingham LFC and the Swedish club Tyreso, at Birmingham’s Damson Park, Solihull on Saturday April 19, 2014, the women from Sweden pushed the hosts to the hilt for the better part of the match. To the credit of Birmingham LFC, the young side worked very hard to deny Tyreso any scoring opportunities. The plucky Birmingham dames had done similarly against Arsenal in the both legs of the quarterfinal and after securing the match-winning lead, denied Arsenal any chance. Arsenal played good football but they were plain unlucky to miss the bus. As the first-leg semifinal began, the Tyreso women invaded the Birmingham goal several times in the first 20 minutes and their quartet of Marta, Klingenberg, Seger and Boquete looked like scoring anytime. But their attacking game could not find the target. The blue ladies from Birmingham, however, succeeded in keeping their goal intact with a resolute display against their more illustrious opponents. The boss of Blue Ladies David Parker was highly satisfied with the performance of Birmingham LFC. He said all 11 women played great football but he was especially pleased with the performance of 4 defenders, who marshaled the back. These women tackled Tyreso forwards with great determination and cleared the dangerous moves time and time again. Later in the second half, Birmingham had their chances too, but the blue ladies couldn’t convert them. With the match ending 0-0, the return leg match in Sweden on Sunday will hold the key.
The other first-leg semifinal match on April 19 was played between two German teams; FFC Turbine Postdam and VfL Wolfsburg at the Karl Liebknecht stadium in Postdam, Germany. Just as the other first-leg semifinal between Birmingham LFC and Tyreso, this one also ended goalless after full time. The Wolfsburg women had several chances in first half as well as post-break but they were unlucky to produce the crucial away goal. Wolfsburg team is the defending champion and when they host Postdam on Sunday at Vfl Stadion, it will be an all-out battle for the final spot. Martina Muller of Wolfsburg came close to scoring but Postdam goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger made a great save. A few seconds earlier, Berger had similarly thwarted another attempt by Wolfburg captain Nadine Kessler. Another opportunity came for Wolfburg, when a header from Nilla Fischer found Alexandra Popp but Popp’s shot went wide off the goal. Popp had another chance a little later, when she received a perfect pass from Kessler but yet again her strike went far away from the target. After the interval, Potsdam also mounted attack on the Wolburg goal but the hosts couldn’t convert the chances. In the last 20 minutes of the game, both side invaded each other’s territory without any success.
After the first-leg games, the battle for the final berths will hinge on the outcomes of the second leg matches scheduled for Sunday, April 27. Both Tyreso and Wolgburg hold the advantage of playing on their home turfs and they look like the most likely contenders for the final at Lisbon. But one never knows because Postdam and Birmingham LFC have sprung surprises in the past. One only needs to wait for the upcoming big games on Sunday.
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