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FC Rossiyanka showed their mettle by coming away from VfL Wolfsburg only 2-1 behind and are confident they can end their visitors' debut UEFA Women's Champions League campaign in the second leg of their quarter-final on Thursday.
Alexandra Popp and Martina Müller found the net for Wolfsburg in Germany, but a Josephine Henning own goal reduced the deficit in the snow to leave Rossiyanka with their own hopes of progressing in Moscow. Rossiyanka goalkeeper Elvira Todua was particularly impressive in the first leg, earning plaudits from their German coach Achim-Matthias Feifel after a string of saves, and she anticipates a committed performance from her team.
"We know we have to score at least one goal and that's why we want to play attacking football and not just think about defending," Todua told UEFA.com. "But we want to score more than one goal as we are playing in front of our home crowd. We're not scared of Wolfsburg. They're a strong side, but we are no beginners."
Nigerian forward Desire Oparanozie is even more confident. "I think we have a 100% chance of qualifying for the next round," she insisted. "Playing at home with the support of our fans, I believe it's possible. The key for us is to just remain determined and focused, and then the sky's the limit."
All the same, Popp is confident her team will prevail. "We know our strengths and we know that we can play this game full of confidence," she said. "Rossiyanka have to score, but we assume we'll score at least once and that will open up space for counterattacks."
The German international will be fit to feature after receiving a painful kick to her left hand in the opening leg, and she is confident that Wolfsburg's qualities will be too much for their Russian rivals. "We are very disciplined as a team, have a deep squad and are flexible in attack and defence. A lot of players can score goals."
Fellow striker Müller is similarly optimistic, drawing strength from Wolfsburg's 5-1 victory at RTP Unia Racibórz in the round of 32. "We already proved in Poland what we're capable of, even away from home," she explained. "If we stay focused and impose our game, then I'm sure that we will be successful."
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