Side by side with men, the women’s Champions League Semifinal stage is also decided now with matches slated for the two-leg meetings on April 19 and April 27, 2014. From October 9, 2013, the tournament had entered the two-legged knock-out phase culminating into two-legged quarterfinals and semifinals. After the semifinals, the two finalists will travel to Lisbon, where the one-off final will be played on May 22, 2014, two nights before the men’s champions’ league final.
The first leg of the first semifinal match will be played between two German clubs; FFC Turbine Postdam and VfL Wolfsburg at the Karl Liebknecht stadium in Postdam, Germany, while the first leg of the other semifinal will feature Birmingham City LFC and the Swedish Club Tyreso FF in the game to be played at the Birmingham LFC’s new home at Damson Park stadium at Solihull, England. The return leg matches will be played 8 days later on April 27, when Wolfsburg ladies host Postdam at their VfL-Stadion, while Birmingham women will travel to Sweden to play Tyreso FF at the Tyresovallen arena at the outskirts of Sweden’s capital, Stockholm.
The women’s champions’ league has been just as intriguing as the progress of the similar tournaments, featuring men. The matches began with qualifying rounds, in which 32 lower-ranked champion-clubs in Europe participated during August, 8-13 2013. These clubs competed in 8 groups of four teams each. Group 1 matches were held in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Group 2 matches in Napoca, Romania, Group 3 at Belfast, Northern Ireland, Group 4 matches at Fatima and Torres Novas, Portugal, Group 5 matches at Lendava, Slovenia, Group 6 matches at Vantaa, Finland, Group 7 matches at Paphos, Cyprus and Group 8 matches Enschede, the Netherlands. The Group toppers joined the established club in the round of 32 but all of them got eliminated by the round of 16.
Of the four semifinalists this year, VfL Wolfsburg is one team, which had never won a major trophy until a year ago but they have continued to make amazing strides in the top division of Bundesliga. After being no.5 in the 2009/2010, they finished as runners-up in 2011/2012. Next football season for the Wolfsburg women was even more creditable. First they won the Bundesliga title and a fortnight later, emerged as winners of the UEFA Women’s Champions League 2012/2013. Their third major victory last season came, when they also won the Domestic Cup Competition. Their progress this year was marked by a 5-2 aggregate victory over Swedish club Maimo in the round of 16, followed by an impressive 5-0 aggregate win against FC Barcelona in the quarterfinals.
FFC Turbine Postdam is Germany’s most successful women’s team. Before Germany’s unification, Postdam was the predominant team in East Germany but even as a part of women’s Bundesliga in unified Germany, Postdam has emerged as a major team. They have won the Bundesliga title for three consecutive years in 2009, 2010 and 2011 and the UEFA Champions League in the 2004/2005 season. In the round of 16 this season, Postdam finished with a tied 2-2 aggregate with the French club Lyon but were declared winners on the basis of away goal rule. In the quarterfinal, Postdam defeated Italian club Torres 8-0 in the first leg in Italy and finished with an aggregate victory of 12-1 after beating Torres 4-1 at home.
The third semifinalist this season is Birmingham City LFC, who have come through the different stages of this season’s Champions league with some credit. In the round of 16, Birmingham had defeated the Russian club Zorky 2-0 in the first-leg away game in Russia on November 9, 2013 and on November 13, ensured their Quarterfinal entry by beating Zorky 5-2 at home. They also won both legs of their quarterfinals against the more formidable English club Arsenal. In the first leg played at home on March 24, 2014, they defeated Arsenal 1-0 and emerged 2-0 victorious once again in the away game for the return leg at Edgware on March 30.
Tyreso FF is one of the top Swedish clubs from Stockholm, who are the fourth semifinalist in this season’s Champions League. Tyreso play in the Damallsvenskan, the Swedish Football League for women. In 2012, Tyreso won the Damallsvenskan title for the first time. For two successive years in 2011 and 2012, Tyreso were the runners-up in Swedish Cup. In the first leg of Champions League round of 16, Tyreso won 2-1 against the Danish club Fortuna in Denmark and completed an aggregate victory 6-1 in the return leg on November 14 by beating Fortuna 4-0 at home. In the quarterfinal, Tyreso inflicted an 8-1 defeat to the Austrian club SV Neulengbach in the home leg on March 23 and despite the 0-0 drawn return leg game on March 29, entered the quarterfinals.