An added-time goal ensured Arsenal LFC joined English rivals Everton in filling the last two places in the UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-finals on Thursday. The pair go into the 19 November draw for the remainder of the competition with holders 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam, FCR 2001 Duisburg, Olympique Lyonnais, FCF Juvisy Essonne, Zvezda-2005 and Linköpings FC, who all won their round of 16 ties on Wednesday. The quarter-finals will be played on 16/17 and 23/24 March.
Arsenal LFC 4-1 Rayo Vallecano de Madrid (agg: 4-3)
Rayo were hoping to become the first Spanish side to reach the last eight after winning their home leg 2-0 last week against a team aiming to make it nine quarter-final appearances in as many European campaigns. In driving rain that intensified just before kick-off, Arsenal pushed hard and after visiting goalkeeper Alicia had made two stunning saves, she was caught out by a curling Rachel Yankey effort on 11 minutes.
The sun emerged later in the half and Vallecano began to rally, striker Adriana forcing Emma Byrne to tip over. Experienced Arsenal forward Julie Fleeting was brought on after an hour and within a minute touched in a Kim Little shot to level the tie. Seven minutes later Arsenal moved into the aggregate lead when Ciara Grant headed in a Little corner. Rayo responded well and with 12 minutes left Adriana was sent clear, rounded Byrne and put the visitors ahead on away goals.
When Arsenal defender Gilly Flaherty was dismissed shortly afterwards, the 2007 winners' bid seemed to be in peril. But as the heavens opened again they belied their one-player deficit and after Little sent a free-kick into the box, Katie Chapman – on her first home appearance since rejoining Arsenal – poked in Jennifer Beattie's strike to keep the Gunners on course for the 26 May final in London.
Everton 1–1 Brøndby IF (agg: 5-2)
Everton are through to their first quarter-final after making the most of their 4-1 opening-leg win in Denmark. In a cold and windy Widnes, two-time semi-finalists Brøndby struck first with an 11th-minute strike from the lively Sanne Troelsgaard.
Stepping up a gear after the break, Everton levelled in the 71st minute through a long-range Jill Scott effort, and they could have taken the lead just moments later, but substitute Michelle Hinnigan's shot clattered off the post. Everton pressed but could not find a winner, although the hard work had already been done last week, and Brøndby are out in the round of 16 for the second year running.
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