Brondby IF 1
- Match reports
- 16 November 2016 18:56
- Posted by @Roline_MCFC
Man City Women signed off a glorious 2016 campaign by booking their place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
A 2-1 aggregate victory over Brondby IF – secured with a 1-1 draw in Denmark – clinched the Blues’ place in the last eight in their debut season in Europe.
In one of the English double winners’ toughest tests this season, Toni Duggan opened the scoring with a stunning strike, before the hosts levelled a minute later to level the score on the night. City led by a goal to nil from the home leg, courtesy of Keira Walsh’s first goal for the Club.
Despite their advantage, manager Cushing insisted playing for a draw was never on the cards, and he opted to make just one change from the side that emerged victorious in the home leg, as Nikita Parris replaced Kosovare Asllani.
With the hosts needing a goal to at least take the game to extra time, Brondby started brightly – buoyed by a vocal home support.
Louise Kristiansen created the game’s first chance but dragged her shot wide, as the Danish outfit pressed at every opportunity, capitalising on every loose ball in the final third.
The Blues’ first venture into the opposition penalty area almost heralded an opener, as Nikita Parris collected Keira Walsh’s spread out wide and crossed to the backpost for Duggan to head home, but goalkeeper Katrine Abel saved well on the line.
Parris then skewed Jill Scott’s cutback over the bar, while Nanna Christiansen’s effort suffered the same fate at the other end.
Duggan then fired a long-range effort into the arms of the goalkeeper in what proved to the be the last major action of the half.
City were much improved after the restart and almost broke the deadlock, as Scott’s header was cleared off the line.
Parris then struck the crossbar with a powerful half volley, before a moment of magic opened the scoring on 65 minutes.
The Blues’ top scorer Jane Ross did well to hold off her defender and tapped to Duggan, who spun and smashed a perfectly-executed volley in off the post – yet another goal of the season contender for the forward.
A lapse in concentration allowed the hosts back into the game a minute later, as Julie Tavlo-Petersson’s delivery found Christiansen, who pounced at the second attempt.
Nicoline Sorensen almost made for a nervy finish when she headed wide, but reassured by their away goal, City saw out the contest to make history once more and continue their unbeaten streak.
The draw for the quarter-finals (and semi-finals) will take place on 25 November.