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It turned out to be a frustrating day for the three British teams competing in the group stages of the UEFA Women's Champions League as they all suffered narrow defeats in their opening fixtures.
Cardiff Met Women were first in action and things started really well for the WPWL Champions as they took a first half lead against Olimpia Cruj through Naomi Clipston but three goals in a 12-minute spell during the second half from Mara Batea, Cristina Carp and Phoenetia Browne put the Romanian side ahead, despite Aimee Phillips replying for the Archers during the spell. Met came agonisingly close to salvaging a point when Clipston rattled the bar with a free kick during injury time and, despite a very encouraging performance, ended up on the wrong side of a 3-2 scoreline.
The Archers must now look to keep their qualification hopes alive on Friday when they play their second match against Kharkiv, who crushed Birkirkara 8-0 in the other group game.
Glasgow City are playing in the group stages this season and are hosting their mini-tournament, opening up against tournament debutants Anderlecht.
Despite a bright start, it was the Belgian side who took the lead midway through the first half when Ella van Kerkhoven headed in a free kick from Sheryl Merchiers. Six minutes later, City were handed a great chance to level the scores when they were awarded a penalty but captain Leanne Ross' kick came back off the woodwork. Both sides traded chances after the break but with eight minutes remaining, Anderlecht took a firm grip on the game when Elke van Gorp doubled their lead. Lara Ivanusa gave City hope in injury time when she pulled a goal back but there was no time for a leveller and the SWPL title holders need to pick up maximum points from their remaining matches to stand any chance of going through.
The first of those games is on Friday is against Martve, who were convincingly beaten by Gornik Leczna in the other match. Kick off is at 12.30pm at Oriam.
Linfield are also hosting their qualifying group and the first of three tough matches pitched them up against Thor/KA. The Icelandic side opened the scoring on 12 minutes through Ariana Catrina Calderon but things remained in the balance until seven minutes from time when Stephany Mayor, who had earlier missed a penalty, sealed a 2-0 victory for Thor.
Linfield are next in action on Friday when they are up against Ajax Amsterdam (2pm at Seaview). Ajax were 4-1 winners over Wexford Youths in their opening match.
Photo - A grounded Ella van Kerkhoven gives Anderlecht the lead against Glasgow City (Tommy Hughes).
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