Brøndby IF had their work cut out before the home leg of their UEFA Women's Champions League round of 32 tie against Stabæk FK having lost 2-0 in Norway last week and so it proved as a 3-3 draw took the visitors through at the expense of the two-time semi-finalists, their earliest exit in ten European campaigns.
Ada Hegerberg and Leni Larsen Kaurin put Stabæk 2-0 up on the night after 27 minutes and although Nanna Christiansen's looping header pulled one back, Ingvild Stensland responded to leave the Danish side needing five goals to go through. Christiansen struck again and Lise Munk converted a penalty to level on the night but Stabæk are in the last 16 for the first time, where they will meet FCF Juvisy Essonne or FC Zürich Frauen, and Stensland and Katrine Pedersen were thrilled, while home coach Peer Lisdorff and forward Sanne Troelsgaard Nielsen admitted conceding early destroyed their game plan.
Ingvild Stensland, Stabæk goalscorer
We started the game very well and took the lead. Our plan was to start on the offensive and I think we did that. We scored three away goals. We are not satisfied with the second half, but we are through to the next round, so we are happy. It was annoying that Brøndby scored two goals [after the break] but I was not worried at all. We wanted to win so it is not good that we let them back in the game again, but we won.
Katrine Pedersen, Stæbak captain
It was a good result for us. We would have liked to win [on the night] but this is enough – 5-3 on aggregate – and we are happy with that result. We did not play well in the second half but I did not feel we dipped too much. I would have liked to have played a bit better in the second half and not let them back into the game, but I was quite confident that we could bring this home.
It was very nice [to play against Danish international team-mates].
I normally cheer for Brøndby in the Champions League, because I like the Danish teams to go a long way in the tournament, but today I was very much Stabæk blue.
Øyvind Eide, Stabæk coach
The first half was excellent from our side. We had a good game plan and a very good execution, but the last 30 minutes we are not satisfied with. Away in the Champions League, we have to be efficient. We knew we were going to get chances and that we are able to score goals, and you saw that today. I was disappointed about our play [in the second half], but we had good control and they did not create many chances besides the goals.
The control, passing and movement is much better than in Norwegian teams. The playing style is a bit different, of course, but it is better than the teams we usually meet.
Sanne Troelsgaard Nielsen, Brøndby forward
Our plan was to score a quick goal. The match became difficult for us because they scored after five minutes, but in the second half we played very well, pressed them high and scored two goals. We knew it was difficult but we did not give up. Of course it is not good enough. We have to take our chances and we did not so I am very disappointed.
Peer Lisdorff, Brøndby coach
We were talking about trying to take control, remaining solid, and trying to take the lead – not necessarily in the first half, we had to be patient. But they scored a goal after five minutes when we were not ready after a free-kick, so of course it was difficult for the rest of the match to believe that we could score four goals. I am not satisfied and disappointed, of course.
I think mentally the first goal we conceded made us doubt how we would to play. Instead of passing the ball out of defence, we just made long passes.
It was much better in the second half. We talked about it during half-time: try to believe that we can pass the ball out of defence and that was much better in the second half. I told them to have faith in the way we want to play and that you can do it, so do it, please, when you get out for the second half. We talked about how we would try to win the second half and, of course, when we scored goal number three and had a good chance with 12 minutes remaining, it would have been fun to make goal number four and see how they would react mentally. Could we create pressure and maybe create more chances? We tried to win the match in the end, but it was not enough.