Wolfsburg of Germany utilized three goals, two in the second half, for a 3-0 win and left 2013-14 Women’s Serie A champion Brescia with a mountain to climb in their second leg at home. Tessa Wullaert (32’), Alexandra Popp (52’) and 21-year-old Norwegian star Carolina Graham Hansen (61’) scored for the two-time Champions League winners (2012-13 and 2013-14). French international forward Elise Bussaglia started for Wolfsburg as did Swiss internationals Ramona Bachmann (ex-Atlanta Beat in WPS) and Lara Dickenmann (ex-Ohio State University). English youth international Paige Williams (ex-Everton), the only import on the side, started in defense for Brescia. This is Brescia’s first time advancing to the UEFA Women’s Champions League quarterfinals.
Olympique Lyon used their home leg to build a nearly insurmountable advantage with a 9-1 win over first-time quarter-finalists Slavia Prague of the Czech Republic. Lyon, UEFA champions in 2010-11 and 2011-12, led 4-0 at halftime behond goals froom Louisa Necib (19’), Eugenie Le Sommer (24’), Norwegian Ada Hegerberg (35’) and Griedge M’Bock Bathy (39’). M’Bock Bathy scored again after the break (53’) followed by Amel Majri (56’), Camille Abily (ex-L.A. Sol and F.C. Gold Pride in WPS) with two tallies (64’ and 80’) and a second from Hegerberg (86’). Twenty-year old Czech Republic youth international Katerina Slitkova scored for Slavia just before the end of the first half. Lyon has never lost in five previous UEFA quarterfinal series. Slavia did defeat former semi-finalists Brondby of Denmark and 2009 finalists Zvezda-2005 of Perm Russia to reach this stage. Slavia went to the Canary Islands in January to prepare for the Champions League. The match attracted 11,732 for the game at the new Stade de Lyon.
Barcelona and Paris St. Germain tied 0-0 in Spain, with Paris St. Germain having the home advantage next Wednesday but it still should be an interesting match with so much at stake. Surprisingly for such monumental names on the men’s side, both women’s clubs are through to the quarterfinals for only the second time. Erika of Brazil (ex-FC Gold Pride in WPS), Cristiane (ex-Chicago Red Stars in WPS), Swedish international Caroline Seger (ex-Philadelphia Independence and WNY Flash in WPS) and French international defender Laura Georges (ex-Boston College) all started for PSG. Brazil’s Rosana, who won a WPS Championship with Sky Blue FC in 2009, came on in the second half. Paris entered the tie having lost two key players since the last European matches—with American Lindsey Horan joining Portland Thorns and Swedish international Kosovare Asllani joining Manchester City. Paris countered by signing Rosana from Lyon. Paris eliminated Glasgow City last year on their way to a 2-1 championship game loss to Frankfurt and Barcelona fell to Wolfsburg two seasons ago. American goalkeeper Kaeli Schmidt played at St. Mary’s in California (20) did not suit up for Barcelona. Barcelona just became a fully professional side before this season. The crowd of 8,369 was a record for Barcelona’s women’s team.
Frankfurt overcame Sweden’s Rosengard 1-0 on the road, thanks to a 71st minute penalty from German international Dzsenifer Marozsan, following Lina Neilsen’s handball. Two former Houston Dash players featured for Rosengard: goalkeeper Erin McLeod went off injured after only 13 minutes while Ella Masar came on for the final 22 minutes. Other Rosengard starters with American ties included defenders Ali Riley (ex-Stanford, FC Gold Pride and WNY Flash), English international Anita Asante (4 WPS sides, including Sky Blue FC’s title side in 2009) and Brazilian forward Marta (3 WPS sides and 2 titles with Gold Pride and the Flash). Australian international Emily Van Egmond (ex-Seattle and Chicago in NWSL) was a late substitute for Frankfurt.
The draw is such that the semifinals could be all German and all French affairs. The second legs will be held on Wednesday, March 30.
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CARY, N.C.— Paul Riley doesn’t regularly hear from North Carolina Courage...