Glasgow City into the last 16 after defeating Standard Liege
Glasgow City marched into the last 16 of the Champions League after producing a superb performance in tonight’s Maritime Craft Services sponsored match to defeat Belgian opponents, Standard Liege, 3-1 (5-3 aggregate) on a rain-sodden Petershill Park.
The City goals were scored by Suzanne Mulvey (15), Denise O’Sullivan (30) and Sarah Crilly (56). Tessa Wullaert (90+2) pulled a late goal back for the visitors.
Glasgow City dominated the early exchanges and nudged ahead after 15 minutes. A long hopeful pass caused havoc in the Liege defence and Suzanne Mulvey managed to get a foot on the ball and force it into the net.
After 20 minutes, City keeper Lee Alexander bravely denied Liege with a last-ditch clearance. The Belgians did their utmost to get back on level terms but the hosts were in no mood to concede.
City almost doubled their lead after 22 minutes when the outstanding Jess Fishlock struck a fierce low drive from 25 yards that was gathered at the second attempt by keeper, Sabrina Broos.
The second goal for Glasgow arrived on the half-hour mark. A cross from the right wing by Sarah Crilly was met superbly by Denise O’Sullivan whose well-struck volley flew into the top right-hand corner past despairing keeper, Broos.
City almost added to their lead 2 minutes into the second half when Crilly sent a shot crashing against the crossbar with the keeper beaten. The winger was not to be denied when nine minutes later she sent a dipping shot over Broos to send the near 1,000 crowd into raptures.
Despite the setback of conceding a third goal, Liege began to take control of the match and created their best opportunity after 72 minutes. Tessa Wullaert raced clear after receiving a beautiful through pass but was brilliantly denied by Alexander in the City goal who tipped the ball round the post.
With seven minutes remaining Faustine Cartegnie forced an excellent stop once again from the onrushing City keeper. Seconds later, Cartegnie blazed over after being presented with another opportunity.
Liege netted a consolation goal in the second minute of injury time when a quick free-kick released Cartegnie down the left and her driven cross evaded Alexander and allowed Wullaert to tap home from close range.
City are beginning to look the part in a European context, and the manner of tonight’s display suggests that the club can compete respectably at this level.
City’s reward for tonight’s creditable performance is a mouth-watering Battle of Britain tie against the mighty Arsenal.
Glasgow City: Alexander, McSorley, Love, Lappin, Docherty, Mulvey, Corsie, Ross, O'Sullivan, Crilly, Fishlock.
Subs: Robertson, Pagliarulo, Murray, Crichton, Littlejohn, Dalziel, Nelson
Standard Liege: Broos, Biesman, Cartegnie, Zeler, Demoustier, Schoenmaker, Wullaert, Lewerissa, Gregoire, De Gernier, Coutereels
Subs: Ickmans, Loos, Neilssen, Mourmans, De Koker.
Referee: Monika Mularczyk (POL)
Assistant Referees: Anna Dabrowska (POL) and Kinga Seniuk-Mikulska (POL)
Fourth Official: Lorraine Clark (SCO)
Maritime Craft Services Player of the Match: Jess Fishlock
Pictures; Top to Bottom- the teams line up; Suzanne Mulvey & Jess Fishlock celebrate the opening goal; the crowd; City celebrate goal number two by Denise O'Sullivan all by Andy Buist. Match Sponsor Maritime Craft Player of the Match Jess Fishlock being presented with her award by Financial Director Nikki Kuyt, by Graeme Berry.
Match report by Graham Semple