Report by Emma Tobiasson
In an incredible night of football at Petershill Park, Glasgow City defied the odds yet again to reach the Quarter Finals of the UEFA Women’s Champions League with victory over Danish giants Brondby.
It was to be what is known as “a game of two halves” on this Thursday night at Petershill Park, as Glasgow City welcomed Danish side Brondby FC. Two halves, plus extra-time and penalties that is.
City came into the match with a 2-0 lead on aggregate, after a terrific first leg win in Copenhagen. However, it was Brondby who started well in the game setting the pace and their hard work would pay off only minutes after kick-off, as Nanna Christiansen headed the ball into the net for the Danish side. The high pace and quick moving of the ball saw Brondby dictating the first half, and with their efficient attacks, they forced City keeper Lee Alexander to pull off several great saves. City struggled to find their footing, and they allowed too much time and space for the Danes to play their kind of football and found themselves constantly chasing their opponents.
City had a good chance in the 35th minute as Hayley Lauder played in Clare Shine, who charged into the box and turned her defender to pass the ball back in towards the penalty spot, only for the resultant shot to be deflected. With City starting to come into the game, it was the visitors however who found the net again, with Brondby’s Frederikke Lindhart taking the opportunity to make it 2-0, and put the game level on aggregate. As the half-time whistle blew, both teams knew it was all to play for now.
There was a clear change in the air in the second half, as City came out more determined and showed up more composed on the pitch, playing with a real sense of urgency. They started to create more chances, but the Danish defence stayed rock solid. Alexander pulled off a few more strong saves on her end, keeping her team in the game, but overall it was City who looked the more eager side in the second half. There was a loud appeal for a handball and penalty, as Brondby player Emilie Henriksen blocked Megan Foley’s shot with her arm, however, it was not awarded by the referee, and a few minutes later the game went into extra time.
City continued to increase their presence on the game in the extra 30 minutes, but even as they created a lot of chances, they didn’t manage to get any shots away on target. They came really close, as Leanne Ross delivered a great free-kick into the box, which found the head of Jenna Clark, but the ball crashed off the underside bar and Brondby managed to keep it out of the net, again with the suspect of an arm being used on the goal line which the referee waved away.
Hayley Sinclair and Carly Girasoli came on for Lauder and Shine, and minutes later Eilish McSorley came on for Sam Kerr in the final minutes of extra-time. City was pursuing that last goal until the final whistle, but in the end, it was to be decided by penalties.
Kirsty Howat and Foley’s penalties were denied, with Leanne Ross and McSorley scoring for City, and Alexander, already voted player of the match, managed to save three penalties in a row, which put it all down to Jo Love to score the last one. As her shot sailed past the Danish keeper and into the back of the net, Petershill Park broke out in one big roar as the team came running, to celebrate in front of the supporters. It took a little bit more than 90 minutes, but they did it - Glasgow City are through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the second time in their history!
The draw will take place on 8th November, with a list of European giants awaiting City – holders Lyon, Arsenal, Paris Saint Germain, Athletico Madrid, Barcelona, Wolfsburg and Bayern Munich.