Fortuna Hjørring hope to avenge last season's round of 16 loss to Göteborg FC but Brian Sørensen admits injury to goalkeeper Heidi Johansen is a huge blow against in-form visitors.
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Fortuna Hjørring are hoping to turn the tables on Göteborg FC when they meet once again in the UEFA Women's Champions League round of 16.
Last year, debutants Göteborg beat the 2003 runners-up 1-0 away and 3-2 at home to reach the quarter-finals, where they narrowly lost to Arsenal LFC. In their efforts to avenge that defeat, Fortuna have been seriously handicapped, however.
Their experienced Denmark goalkeeper Heidi Johansen tore cruciate ligaments in her knee in a test match against Aalborg BK's Under-15 boys on Monday and is facing nine months out. "Of course Heidi's injury is a huge handicap for us," coach Brian Sørensen, whose team were given a tough test by Glasgow City LFC in the last 32, told UEFA.com.
"Our talented U19 keeper Maria Christensen [a 17-year-old] did extremely well against Glasgow, and we hope that she can copy that performance, but you do not replace Denmark's best goalkeeper – with ten or 12 years' experience in top-level football – just like that."
Sørensen sees the side lying second in Denmark as underdogs against Göteborg. "They're favourites," he said. "They won the Swedish Cup final. This will be the ultimate test for our relatively new team. However, I have seen them several times, so we are well prepared. We will have to see what we can do in the first match, and take it from there."
Göteborg are certainly in confident mood, winning their last home game of the Swedish league season 2-1 against KIF Örebro DFF on Sunday. Their hopes of lifting the title or even ensuring a European place for next term were dashed before the summer break but since the Olympics they have been in top form, winning the cup by overcoming leaders WFC Malmö in the semis and second-placed Tyresö FF in the final.
"We should have picked up more points during the spring," lamented goalkeeper Kristin Hammarström. "Now everything feels great and I would like to play on and on."
American full-back Camille Levin joined the club in August and singles out one competition in particular as her highlight since arriving in Europe. "The first two games in the Champions League," said Levin, who scored on her European debut against ŽFK Spartak Subotica in the round of 32. "Not many people get to play the Champions League. It's a dream to play and we hope to continue moving through."