City started the game the brighter of the two sides and with just four minutes on the clock, Lisa Evans had a great chance to open the scoring for the SWPL league leaders as she raced through on goal, after a fine through ball from Christine Murray, but Evans’ shot was straight at the Valur keeper McCray.
Six minutes later Valur full back Logadottir raced down the right flank before sending in a cross to Bjarnadottir inside the City box, but Clare Gemmell denied the Valur striker a chance to shoot, knocking the ball out for a corner with a well-timed tackle.
On 17 minutes Glasgow City take the lead, a long through ball from Gemmell lands at the feet of Lisa Evans, the striker’s first touch was poor but she managed to get the break of the ball before firing past McCray in the Valur goal.
Four minutes later Evans had the chance to make it 2-0 as she once again raced through on goal, with only McCray to beat, but her shot was straight at the keeper.
Valur keeper McCray was tested once more on 25 minutes when Ross hit a curling effort towards the top right hand corner of the Icelandic goal, but the American keeper pulled off a brilliant one-handed save to tip the ball round the post.
Valur’s American keeper was the busiest of the two shot stoppers and a minute later, City were once again knocking on the door. Evans gathered the ball on the left flank before sending in a cross, Edvardsdottir cleared it as far as Emma Fernon whose shot was just wide of the Valur goal.
On the half hour mark Evans once again gathered a ball over the top from McSorley, but once again Evans missed the chance to extend City’s lead as her shot rolled across the face of goal and away from danger.
Five minutes later and Lisa Evans had the ball in the back of the net after lobbing McCray in the Valur goal, however the striker was adjudged to have fouled a Valur defender in the lead up to her scoring and a free kick was awarded to the Icelandic side.
A minute before half time and Magnusdottir fired a 35 yard free kick off the City crossbar with Johnstone beaten, the ball rebounded out but Valur could not latch onto the ball and City cleared.
14 minutes into the Second Half and Valur equalised after Johnstone in the City goal was penalised for picking up a back pass. From the resulting free kick, the ball was laid off to Edvardsdottir who fired towards goal, but Olafsdottir directed the ball past Johnstone to make it 1-1.
City were pegged back for much of the Second Half, as Valur dominated possession posing more of a threat than they did in the First Half. City did have a couple of long-range efforts, the best coming from Leanne Ross but McCray comfortably saved Ross’ 20 yard shot.
A raft of changes were made by both sides as they chased for the winner, but despite a few hairy moments for City near the end, both sides had to settle for a 1-1 draw.
City now travel to Iceland a week today with captain Rachel Corsie ineligible for the return leg, with Valur defending the all-important away goal.
Head Coach Eddie Wolecki Black said after the match: “I think that the positive thing is that we created so many chances. I think that was the real positive and I think that the people watching tonight, they maybe see the quality we’ve got and creating opportunities for ourselves, so that’s very pleasing.
“If we went away with one-nil it’d been even more pleasing than going one-one, but the tie is very much alive.”
On conceding the goal, Eddie commented: “[It was] very poor. Obviously you look back and think well the linesman has seen something or he’s missed something, but we still had to defend the free kick and it was a bit unfortunate from us.”
Eddie rejected the notion that their weekend exertions had a part to play in their Second Half performance. He added: “No, I don’t think so, to be honest these girls are very fit girls. Maybe it was the occasion, maybe the occasion drained us a wee bit as well, but certainly were alive and kicking, and still in the tie.”
He continued: “I think we can do Scotland proud. I think we have shown tonight one thing for everyone, is that we can compete at this level.”
City skipper Corsie said on missing the second leg: “I’m obviously disappointed from a personal point of view not be playing and not to be involved, but I don’t think the team will suffer for it at all.”
On the chances that went begging for City, Corsie added: “Tonight, you know, we created seven or eight good chances and we only got one (goal),so maybe in Iceland we might only create three chances, but we might score all three, and hopefully that’s the case.”
The winner of this tie will, barring a huge upset, face Potsdam in the last 16 of the competition after the German side beat Hungarian side Thor 6-0 on Wednesday night.
GLASGOW CITY XI: Johnstone, Dalziel, Corsie, McSorley, Fernon, Gemmell, J. Ross, L. Ross, K. Lindner, Murray, Evans.
Subs: Alexander, Love, Mitchell, Paterson, Woolley, McDonald, Barnes.
VALUR REYKJAVIC XI: McCray, Sigurdardottir, Edvardsdottir, Logadottir, Bjarnadottir, Gisladdottir, Miskel, Antonsdottir, Gretarsdottir, Magnusdottir, Olafsdottir.
Subs: Maria, Guomundsdottir, Jensen, Olafsdottir, Gunnarsdottir, Magnusdottir, Gylfadottir.
Referee: Sandra Braz Bastos (Portugal)
Assistant Referees: Noguiera & Domingos (Portugal)
Fourth Official: Lorraine Clark (Scotland)
Match Photos courtesy of Liam McFadden