Two precious away goals from Suzanne Lappin earned Glasgow City a draw in Belgium as they battled to a 2-2 with Standard Liege in the first leg of the last 32 of the UEFA Women’s Champions League.
The away side started very comfortably and were the better of the two sides in the opening period but could not convert their early superiority into a goal. As the first half progressed Liege came more into the game and opened the scoring on 26 minutes when Vanity Lewerissa finished at the back post after a cross from the right was first blocked by the City defence.
City pushed hard for an equaliser with midfielders Jess Fishlock and Suzanne Lappin particularly impressive and it was Lappin who eventually pulled the scores level a minute before half time. Great play by Fishlock opened the play out to Nic Docherty and the City full back crossed to Lappin at the back post and she volleyed brilliantly into the far bottom corner to get her side level at the break.
Just after the break, City went behind again, this time due to a defensive error. Alexander raced off her line to clear a long ball which had evaded her defenders but the ball bounced up high off the turf and she misjudged her header and it skimmed off her head and behind, allowing Tessa Wullaert a tap in from five yards out. It was a rare mistake from the City number one who has been outstanding all season.
Despite the set-back, City worked hard for the equaliser and it was Lappin once more with another great finish who got her side back in the game. Leanne Ross crossed from the right to Ruesha Littlejohn, but the City striker’s shot was blocked and cleared to Lappin at the edge and she hit a low powerful drive into the bottom corner to get her second of the match in what could prove to be a crucial second away goal.
Commenting after the match, City Head Coach Eddie Wolecki Black said: “We started the game really well and probably the only disappointment was that we didn’t take any of the several chances we created. The Belgians were very dangerous up the right hand side and despite some good play, it took two errors for them to get their goals. As we have found so often in the past, if you make errors at this level you get punished. To be fair we go back home having scored two away goals to a good side and I am sure the team will be looking to rectify what is a poor home record in previous campaigns and ensure we get the result we need to progress to the next round.
“As for the error from Lee which gave them their second goal, if the rest of my players made as few mistakes as she did, I would be happy. I am convinced Lee will be determined to turn in another sterling performance next week to help us progress to the last 16.”
Glasgow City’s home match against Standard Liege is at Petershill Park on Thursday 17th October, kick off 7pm. Tickets are available from Greaves Sports retail outlets in Glasgow City centre and from the Glasgow City website www.glasgowcityladiesfc.co.uk