UWCL quarter-finals: PSG, Barcelona barely skate by in Scandinavia

Paris Saint-Germain's Elisa De Almeida heads the ball next to Hacken's Clarissa Larisey
Paris Saint-Germain's Elisa De Almeida heads the ball next to Hacken's Clarissa Larisey during the Champions League quarter-final (Photo by ADAM IHSE/TT/TT News Agency/AFP via Getty Images)

The first legs of this season’s UEFA Women’s Champions League (UWCL) quarter-finals wrapped up on Wednesday night. Two of the favourites, Barcelona and PSG, faced trips to Scandinavia.

Keep reading to see how they got on.

BK Häcken 1-2 Paris Saint Germain

The evening’s action got underway in Gothenburg, as Häcken — who have reached this stage for the first time — were looking to continue their good form from the group stages, where they helped eliminate Paris FC and Real Madrid.

A sweetly struck volley from Sakina Karchaoui drew a fine save from Häcken’s Jennifer Falk in the 19th minute.

PSG took the lead with 23 minutes gone thanks to Eva Gaetino, who was on hand to poke home when Falk could only parry Tabitha Chawinga’s header from a Karchaoui free kick.

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Häcken were given a golden opportunity to equalise from the penalty spot. With five minutes of the first half left, Thiniba Samoura was punished for a push on Anna Anvegård.

It was a chance that Rosa Kafaji took — but only at the second time of asking after PSG’s Katarzyna Kiedrzynek saved the initial spot kick — with Kafaji the quickest to react to stoop and head home.

Chawinga thought she’d put PSG ahead in the 52 minute, but was denied by the assistant’s flag.

The Malawian international wasn’t to be denied again, though. She grabbed the winner when she capitalised on a missed interception eight yards out.

SK Brann 1-2 Barcelona

Current holders Barcelona just about snuck by their Norwegian counterparts. The reigning champions came away with a slender 2-1 lead.

The Spanish powerhouses made a typically classy start and took a deserved lead in the ninth minute, following a well-worked corner.

Caroline Graham Hansen played a one-two with Salma Paralluelo and drove into the box. More intricate passing between her and Patri Guijarro allowed Hansen to fire home via a slight deflection that deceived Brann goalkeeper Aurora Mikalsen.

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It was no less than Barça deserved as they threatened to swamp the 2022 Toppserien champions.

Some profligate finishing from the Catalan side and good goalkeeping from Mikalsen prevented Barcelona from adding to their lead.

The hosts steadied themselves and grabbed a shock equaliser just before half-time.

A well-worked move down the left-hand side allowed Justine Kielland to whip a fantastic cross across the Barcelona goalmouth where Cecilie Kvamme was on hand to tap home for Brann.

The right-back’s smile lit up the cold Norwegian night. However, a moment of magic from Paralluelo broke Brann hearts with 20 minutes left.

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Surrounded by defenders, she took Aitana Bonmatí’s pass in her stride and turned on a sixpence to fire home with her left foot.

The second legs of the UWCL quarter-finals will take place in Paris and Barcelona on Thursday, March 28th.

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