Glasgow City get off to perfect European start
Glasgow City got off to the perfect start in the UEFA Women’s Champions League defeating Croatian Champions Osijek 7-0. A hat-trick from Jo Love and goals from Sarah Crilly, Suzanne Lappin, Sarah Crilly and a penalty from Leanne Ross gave City a precious 3 points.
Jo Love opened the scoring for the Scottish Champions on 21 minutes as she fired in off the post finishing off a fine move involving Suzanne Malone, Denise O’Sullivan and Suzanne Lappin who created the opportunity for Love who took full advantage.
Sarah Crilly made it 2-0 only two minutes later when she delightfully lobbed Osijek keeper Ivan Vrdowak for her first Champions League goal on her European debut.
Midway through first half Suzanne Lappin made it 3-0 for the top seeds as she rose highest to head home a Leanne Ross corner.
Jo Love got her second of the match after converting a Suzanne Lappin cross at the back post to make it 4-0 and put her team firmly in the driving seat.
Soon after, City and Scotland international Love got her hat-trick with an outstanding strike from outside the box which flew into the top corner to score a goal of real quality and in turn give Love her first European hat-trick.
Five minutes before the half time whistle, Osijek had their best chance of the match to get a goal back when Iva Culek hit the post and City managed to clear their lines from the rebound off the woodwork.
Straight after the break, the Croatians showed their intent once more with City keeper Lee Alexander forced to pull off an excellent near post save to tip the ball on to the cross bar and away to safety.
That save was to prove crucial when 10 minutes after the restart Lisa Robertson scored her first ever European goal. Robertson, like Crilly was making her Champions League debut and would be pleased with her second half contribution after coming on as a substitute firing home a sweet left foot strike into the bottom corner to put city 6-0 ahead.
Leanne Ross makes it 7-0 from the penalty spot after Sue Lappin was brought down in the box on 68 minutes to round off an impressive opening performance and result for the Scots.
Commenting on his side’s win, City Head Coach Eddie Wolecki Black said, “It is great start to the group stage. It sets us up well now for Saturday’s game. Obviously very pleasing was the debutants who fitted in very well and it was great to see Sarah Crilly and Lisa Robertson score their first European goals. However, it has to be said that it was a real team performance and it will be that which carries us through this tournament. We now have one day to prepare a team to prepare on Saturday.”
Glasgow City face FC Birkirkara, the Champions of Malta on Saturday. Kick off 4pm CET/3pm GMT.
Pictures by Mirko Kappes: Top to bottom - Jo Love shoots to score the opening goal; Jo celebrates, Sarah Crilly chips the keeper for goal number 2, City line up before the match. More pictures can be found on our facebook Glasgowcity.Fc