On Thursday, I travelled to Petershill Park, for the first time to watch Glasgow City v Barcelona FA in the last 32 of the Women’s UEFA Champions League. City picked up a fantastic 2-0 win away in Cyprus last week with goals from Hayley Lauder and Leanne Crichton putting the Glasgow side well in the driving seat in the tie.
Glasgow City were left disappointed in last seasons champions league, after being knocked out in the first round off of Shymkent Women. After losing the first leg 3-0, City won 4-1 at home but were knocked out on away goals. Visitor’s, Barcelona FA have never qualified for the last 32 of the champions league in their history.
City boss, Scott Booth made two changes from the side that hammered Rangers 6-0 last Sunday with Abbi Grant returning from injury to replace the suspended Leeanne Ross. Megan Foley dropped out and was replaced by Lidija Kulis
The Cyprus side made 3 changes from the first round tie with, Victoria Zampa, Marilena Georgiou and Tina Trutsi all starting.
The first half got underway in Glasgow in freezing conditions and it was City who started the brighter side. After only 30 seconds, Kirsty Howat found herself in acres of space before have a shot at goal which was well held by Buhigas. On the 7th minute, a fizzing ball across goal from Docherty, just failed to meet the foot of Ivanusa. The scoring was opened in the 7th minute on what was the visitors first real attack of the game, but what a goal it was. A misjudged header played in Barcelona striker, Krystyna Freya, who fired it high and off the bar past the helpless Alexander. City did respond well, but long range efforts from Abbie Grant and Sam Kerr, proved no threat at all for the Barcelona keeper. Buhigas was called into action after 16 minutes, when Docherty fired a cross across goal, which was fantastically tipped around the post. A minute later a free kick by Docherty just went narrowly over, however many fans thought it was in. Out of no where, the visitors nearly doubled their lead. Another misjudged header played in Antri Violari, her effort was brilliantly saved by the outcoming Lee Alexander, before it was cleared to safety. The hosts were nearly level on the 30th minute when a cross was nearly chested into her own net by Victoria Zampa. Lee Alexander was called into action once again on the last kick of the first half, when a deflection landed right on top of Freya’s head but was fantastically saved by the Scot.
HALF TIME- Glasgow City 0-1 Barcelona FA
The second half got underway and City started well again, exactly the same as the first half. Hayley Lauder had a great chance on the 47th minute after some nice play from Docherty and Howat but her effort went over the bar. 1 minute later, City had another brilliant chance. Sam Kerr had a fantastic strike at goal which looked like the equaliser but Burhigas make an outstanding save to tip over Kerr’s effort. Kirsty Howat should of equalised on the 51st minute when a cross from Lauder found Howat all by herself, before taking it down and firing straight at goal, but it was another brilliant save by the away sides keeper. On the 63rd minute, Grant fired in a direct free kick which beat everyone, it was palmed away by James-Burhigas, straight onto Girisoli’s head, which was headed wide. Barcelona FA nearly scored a second goal and levelled the tie after 71 minutes, when a Christina Solomou free kick deflected right into the path of 22. Her shot was deflected, but the wrong footed Alexander scrambled across her line to just get a glove on it. With the clock ticking down, Barcelona FA had to push forward to get a goal to have any chance of staying in the competition. The final chance for the away side was a long range effort from Soloumou which was well saved by Alexander.
Glasgow City could finally breathe on what was a much more difficult evening than most would have expected. The Glasgow side progress to the last 16 with a potential tie against some of the world bests women’s teams.
Glasgow City XI
Alexander, Ivanusa(72), Girasoli, Love, Docherty, Kerr, Crichton, Lauder, Kulis, Howat(90), Grant
Clachers, Clark(90), Cunningham, Foley, McGlinchey, McLintock, Stewart(72)
Barcelona FA XI
Buhigas, Ebere, Zampa(79), Coulibaly, Trutsi, Georgiou, Hayes, Solomou, Violari, Freda, Elloh
Christou, Demetriou, Evripidou(79), Vrachimi
YELLOW CARDS– Solomou(35), Docherty(85)
RED CARDS- 0