Servette 1-1 Glasgow City: Clare Shine goal earns Scots Champions League draw
A terrific goal from Clare Shine earns Glasgow City a draw away to Servette in the first leg of the Champions League second round.
A terrific goal from Clare Shine earned Glasgow City a draw away to Servette in the first leg of the Champions League second round.
The City forward’s looping second-half effort keeps the tie finely poised ahead of next week’s second leg at Broadwood.
City fell behind to Jade Boho’s header and rode their luck at times on a tough night in Switzerland in front of just under 2,500 fans.
But Grant Scott’s side return with a promising result, with the group stages of the new-look Champions League potentially just 90 minutes away.
Glasgow City have been in the quarter-finals of this competition twice, they’re old stalwarts. And yet, they were in unchartered waters. Never before had they faced a two-legged play-off, where the prize ahead of them is a lucrative group stage and a minimum windfall of €400,000.
City, Scotland’s sole representative after Celtic fell in the first qualifying round mini-tournament, struggled to settle in a nervous 45 minutes, and they should have been behind within 90 seconds.
Paula Serrano was quickest onto a strong looping header, but knocked over from close range.
The gaps at the back continued to be exposed. Monica Mendes twice within three minutes passed up golden chances; heading over from close range then slicing wide.
City were wobbling every time Servette tested them from a set-piece, but they made it to half-time intact. However, four minutes after the restart and their Achilles heel finally led to them falling behind.
Equatorial Guinea international Jade, facing away from goal, managed to direct a header from a free-kick over her marker and beyond the reach of Lee Alexander.
But City’s response epitomised why they’ve been regulars in the latter stages of the Champions League.
First Janine van Wyk had a shot tipped over by Inês Pereira. And then the Portuguese goalkeeper had no chance as City levelled through a touch of brilliance.
Shine motioned for a long ball to be played into her path, and despite the attentions of three defenders she hooked her foot around it from the edge of the box, and the goalkeeper could only watch as it nestled into the far corner.
Ex-Rangers defender Daina Bourma made her entrance for Servette in the aftermath, and she was busy early as City grew in confidence, with Niamh Farrelly heading over.
Yet Servette still fancied themselves for a goal. Julia Molin misread a cross, and Sandy Maendly turned away from her lunging challenge and forced a fine tip away from Scotland goalkeeper Lee Alexander.
And Marta Peiro Gimenez twice steered headers wide of the near post as City continued to live dangerously.
But while Servette were left frustrated by their efforts, City have set up a titanic battle next Wednesday afternoon at Broadwood.
Anyone’s Game player of the match
Despite Servette’s chances, City goalkeeper Lee Alexander didn’t have a huge amount to do, but her save from Maendly could prove crucial if City are to progress.
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