Arsenal, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Benfica confirmed their favoritism and secured their spots in the group stage of the Women’s Champions League this Wednesday.
Arsenal players celebrate Vivianne Miedema’s goal in the victory over Ajax – Photo: David Price/Getty Images
The most difficult classification was Arsenal. After drawing 2-2 at home with Ajax, the English team won 1-0 in Amsterdam. Six minutes into the second half, the Dutch Vivianne Miedema scored the goal of the match with a low shot, from the edge of the area.
Called up for the Brazilian team’s friendlies against Norway and Italy, in October, defender Rafaelle left the game in the second half, injured.
In Spain, the Real Madrid of Brazilian defender Kathellen beat Rosenborg 2-1, confirming the vacancy that was already well underway with the 3-0 victory in the first leg. The Norwegian team opened the scoring with Emilie Nautnes, but Real turned around in the second half, highlighting the duo Caroline Weir-Athenea del Castillo.
The Spaniard made the cross for the Scottish Caroline Weir to equalize, and in the second goal the two switched roles: Weir’s pass for Athenea to enter the area and score with a cross kick.
PSG also had no problem eliminating Häcken with a 2-0 victory in Sweden after going 2-1 in the first leg in Paris. Lieke Martens and Kadidiatou Diani, repeating the double from the first match. In Turin, Juventus defeated Koge 2-0, with goals from Iceland’s Gunnarsdóttir and Italy’s Sofia Cantore, after 1-1 in the first leg.
Benfica drew 1-1 with Rangers, with a goal in stoppage time from Canadian Cloé Lacasse, and achieved an exciting classification in Lisbon. After making it 3-2 in Glasgow, the Portuguese team held the tie until the 41st minute of the second half, when Emma Watson scored the goal that would take the game to extra time. But, at 47, Cloé received on the left and advanced in speed to the area, scoring a great goal to seal the classification. Benfica had four Brazilians in the match: starters Ana Vitória, called up to the national team, Valéria and Nycole, in addition to Marta Cintra, who came on in the second half.
The classification with the highest aggregate score of the playoffs was Zürich: 10 to 0 in the sum of the scores of the two games. This Wednesday, the Swiss team made “only” 3-0 at SFK 2000, after 7-0 in the first leg, in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Albania’s Vllaznia, who beat Ukraine’s Vorskla 2-1 (3-2 on aggregate) have also secured their spot in the group stage on Wednesday; Sweden’s Rosengard, 3-1 over Brann (4-1 on aggregate); Slavia Praga, from the Czech Republic, who held the 0-0 with Valur, after 1-0 in the first leg; and the Austrian St. Polten advanced to a 2-2 draw with KuPS in overtime after going 1-0 in the first game.
The last spots for the group stage of the Women’s Champions will be known this Thursday. In Italy, the Roma of Brazilian midfielder Andressa Alves welcomes Sparta Prague after winning 2-1 in the Czech capital. In Germany, Real Sociedad has the tough mission of trying to overcome Bayern Munich, from side Tainara, after losing 1-0 at home in the first leg.
The group stage of the Women’s Champions has only four teams qualified: Lyon, current champions, Barcelona, runners-up last season, Wolfsburg, German champions, and Chelsea, English champions.