Though Yuki Ogimi's late away goal at Arsenal LFC last week has given 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam a UEFA Women's Champions League lifeline, they are not short of headaches ahead of Wednesday's home round of 16 return.
Katie Chapman and substitute Ellen White had put Arsenal in control of the first ever last-16 meeting between two former champions. However, Ogimi's sublime chip pulled it back to 2-1 and gave Potsdam hope that it will be their record of never failing to reach the quarter-finals that remains intact, rather than the Gunners'.
However, even before the first leg Turbine were missing last season's Frauen-Bundesliga top scorer Genoveva Añonma, on international duty. To make matters worse, fellow striker Nataša Andonova suffered an ankle injury early in the game that will keep her out for two months. Still, coach Bernt Schröder, who masterminded Potsdam's 2005 and 2010 triumphs, remains upbeat.
"We lost 2-1, but also had three very good chances," he said. "We knew in advance just what a strong team we were playing. Yet we still have every chance. We just need to quickly get that defeat out of our minds."
While Potsdam were back in domestic action on Sunday, beating SGS Essen 5-1 with an Antonia Göransson hat-trick, Arsenal's domestic season is over. Defender Niamh Fahey told UEFA.com: "It can work both ways but we've had a pretty long season and a lot of the girls were involved at the Olympics so for us a game at the weekend wouldn't have done us any favours."
With Arsenal able to bring Jennifer Beattie and White off the bench last week, there is no shortage of talent up front. England forward White, who struck within four minutes of her first-leg introduction, said: "It's always nice to play and nice to score to help the team. Collectively all we want to do is win and get through to the quarter finals. We are all singing off the same hymn sheet, we want to win the Champions League."
Manager Laura Harvey has what would be termed a nice problem as she mulls whether to bring in White or Beattie for any of the attacking line of Gemma Davison, Kim Little, Rachel Yankey and Kelly Smith that started so effectively against Potsdam. What is for sure is that she will not encourage her team to sit on their slender lead.
"It's a great position," Harvey said. "The bottom line is don't lose and you're though, and one away goal it makes it very hard for them. We've shown we should go out in a positive frame of mind – we shouldn't sit back and defend – and really go for it."
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