We look at last week's UEFA Champions League Round of 32 ties, with only one British side remaining, and some surprise advances to the Round of 16. We also present the draw for next month's matchups.
Last week's second leg UEFA Champions League Round of 32 match-ups revealed some surprising teams advancing to the next round and only one British side out of four remained. Recently crowned Super League champions Manchester City—a debutant in the CL this season—used goals by Scottish international defender Jennifer Beattie (2), English internationals Lucy Bronze (who won two League titles with Liverpool and played at the University of North Carolina) and Izzy Christiansen—to stun Zvezda-2005 of Perm Russia 4-0 away to advance 6-0 on aggregate. Swedish 2016 Olympic Team member Kosovare Asllani assisted on three of the goals.
Chelsea, the 2015 Super League champion, drew 1-1 away with Wolfsburg of Germany but couldn't overcome a 3-0 home defeat in the first leg. Hibernian of Scotland fell 4-1 away to Bayern Munich to lose 10-1 on aggregate. Scottish international Lisa Evans scored for Bayern while Abigail Harrison scored the lone goal for the Edinburgh-based side. The 18-year-old Harrison received her first call-up with Scotland's full national team ahead of the September 20th final Euro 2017 group qualifier versus Iceland, which Scotland won 2-1 on the road, but Harrison was not on the squad sheet. She has captained the U-19's and is expected to ultimately be a fixture in future national squads.
Glasgow City's Sarah Crilly scored but they lost a close game at home to Swedish CL debutants Eskilstuna United 2-1, losing 3-1 on aggregate. Crilly was the player who was found waiting in the concessions line at halftime of a Scotland international friendly against Norway in 2012. Head coach Anna Signeul was down two players, one from an injury before the game and one during the first half, and she wanted her team administrator to quickly find another player. Crilly had practiced with the team the day before and had come to support her teammates and her tea break was promptly interrupted. The then Hamilton Academical player told the Scottish Sun: “At the end they said I should come and watch the match. So I was standing with all my friends waiting on a cup of tea when the team administrator came up and asked if I had my boots with me. I didn't. So she took me to the changing rooms, and got me kitted [uniformed] out." Despite wearing borrowed cleats with three pairs of socks because they were two sizes too large, she came on in the second half after two more of her teammates were injured. Crilly scored the tying goal late to send the teams' home level at 2-2.
Looking at the two French challengers, recent acquisition Dzsenifer Marozsan of Germany scored for reigning champions Lyon in their 5-0 home win over Avaldsnes of Norway—another CL debutant—and advanced 10-2 on aggregate. Fellow French side Paris St. Germain had a much more difficult tie and needed a Brazilian international Cristiane hat trick to defeat their Norwegian opponent—LSK Kvinner of Lillestrom—4-1 at home to take the tie 5-4 on aggregate, reversing a 1-3 away defeat in the first leg. Spanish international Veronica Boquete (who played with Portland Thorns in 2014 and then Frankfurt and Bayern Munich the past two seasons) scored the other goal on a penalty kick.
Some surprising advances include BIIK-Kazygurt of Kazakhstan (featured in this column last month).
who defeated former CL semifinalists Verona of Italy (2007-08). BIIK took a 3-1 home leg advantage to Italy and held on for a road draw (1-1) in the second leg. Georgian international Culnara Gabella scored three goals in the tie, including a brace at home. This is BIIK's first time advancing to the round of 16—also a first for the country of Kazakhstan.
Slavia Praha of the Czech Republic surprised Cypriot power Apollon Limassol 3-2 at home to take the tie 4-3. American Samantha Witteman (ex-University of California, who started 12 games for the expansion Orlando Pride side in NWSL this season but did not tally any goals or assists) scored twice for Apollon within the first 15 minutes but they surrendered the two goal advantage. Apollon has now failed to advance from the Round of 32 for the sixth time in seven years (since 2010-11). Slavia made the round of 16 for the second consecutive year, and hope to advance to the quarterfinals as they did last season, when they fell 9-1 on aggregate to Lyon of France.
The other Czech Republic side in the Round of 32—Sparta Prague—lost at home by a 3-1 scoreline to Twente of the Netherlands, surrendering the tie 5-1 on aggregate.
Danish power Fortuna Hjorring defeated Athleico Bilbao of Spain 3-1 at home to take the tie 4-3 on aggregate after extra time. Brazilian defender Tamires scored in the 119th minute to advance her side just before penalties would have decided the outcome. Defender Nevena Damjanovic of Serbia and Danish forward Camilla Larsen, who played briefly with Western New York Flash last season and then joined Verona, were the goal scorers for the winners. Fortuna advanced to the Round of 16 for the eighth consecutive season and were runners-up in 2002-03.
Breidablik of Iceland fell narrowly to Swedish power Rosengard, tying in Sweden 0-0 in the second leg after falling 1-0 at home to an early Lotta Schelin goal in the first match. The other Spanish side in the competition advanced when Barcelona defeated Minsk of Belarus 2-1 at home in the second leg to take the tie 5-2. Spanish 2015 World Cup forward Jenni Hermoso, who played with Tyreso of Sweden in 2013, scored on a penalty kick and Andressa Alves of Brazil tallied the other goal. Alves—a standout performer at the 2015 Women's World Cup and at home during the Olympic Games this past summer—joined Barcelona this season after a year with Montpellier in France. She had signed to play with the Boston Breakers in NWSL in 2015 but was called into Brazil's residency camp ahead of last summer's World Cup and never played in the league.
Canadian international Adriana Leon—who played for Western New York Flash most of this season—scored a hat trick in the 6-0 first leg victory at Sturm Graz of Austria but Swiss international team captain Fabienne Humm did the damage in the home return, scoring a brace. Brondby of Denmark defeated the other Austrian side in the competition—SKN St. Polten Frauen—4-2 on aggregate, after a 2-2 second leg tie at home. Brondby has made the semifinals three times in their history.
Brescia of Italy narrowly advanced against Medyk Konin of Poland with a 3-2 victory at home to win on away goals, overturning a 3-4 disadvantage from the first leg in Poland to take the tie on away goals (6-6). Medyk Konin just missed advancing to the Round of 16 in their third consecutive Champions League appearance.
Rossiyanka used Ivory Coast international Jose Nahi's stoppage time goal for a 2-1 home victory (also 2-1 on aggregate) over SFK 2000 Sarajevo, pipping the Bosnia-Herzegovian side, who would have advanced on away goals. Tia N'Rehy—also from the Ivory Coast—scored the other goal for the Russian champs. In 15 UEFA Club Championship appearances, this was only Sarajevo's third time in the Round of 32, from which they have never advanced.
The draw for the Round of 16 matches on November 9-10 and 16-17 was decided on Monday, October 17.
Manchester City again starts at home against Danish side Brondby; champions Lyon plays FC Zurich and surprise Kazakhstan champion BIIK-Kazygurt must travel to French powerhouse Paris St. Germain for the important first leg.
2016/17 UEFA Women's Champions League - Round of 32
Paris Saint-Germain (FRA) v BIIK-Kazygurt (KAZ)
Barcelona (ESP) v FC Twente (NED)
Slavia Praha (CZE) v Rosengård (SWE)
Manchester City (ENG) v Brøndby (DEN)
Brescia (ITA) v Fortuna Hjørring (DEN)
Lyon (FRA, holders) v FC Zürich (SUI)
Eskilstuna United (SWE) v Wolfsburg (GER)
Bayern München (GER) v Rossiyanka (RUS)
Tim Grainey is a contributor to Tribalfootball. His latest book is, Beyond Bend it Like Beckham, on the global game of women's football. Get your copy today.
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