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FCF Juvisy Essonne forward Camille Catala is confident her side can claim a maiden place in the UEFA Women's Champions League semi-finals as they travel to Göteborg FC holding a 1-0 advantage from the first leg.
The French club missed a penalty and wasted a host of other chances in last week's slender quarter-final victory on home soil, with Julie Machart's 17th-minute strike their sole reward. Göteborg have won both their home encounters in this year's competition, but Catala feels her team can draw strength from their lead despite a weekend French Cup exit at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain FC.
"We believe we can go through – more than before," she explained. "One-nil is a positive scoreline, even if we're a bit disappointed and frustrated because we could and should have scored more goals. With qualification at stake, plenty of things can happen, but we'll go there with lots of desire and lots to be positive about."
The French international also believes her side have learnt from the clubs' first meeting – in particular from Göteborg's strong finish, with Sweden striker Jessica Landström one of a handful of players to threaten an equaliser. "We now have more information about Göteborg that we can use against them," she said. "We knew they had a big forward and that she could cause us problems. We'll need to watch her."
One of the standout performers in Bonneuil-sur-Marne for Juvisy – who lost to 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam on their only other last-eight appearance in 2010/11 and seem set to meet French rivals Olympique Lyonnais if they go through – Catala expects her team to cope well with the artificial pitch at Göteborg's Valhalla ground. "Given the weather [in France] recently, with snow non-stop, we've trained a lot on an artificial surface so I don't think that will cause us any problems," said the 21-year-old.
The hosts are hoping she is mistaken, however, with captain Stina Segerström backing Göteborg to express themselves more effectively in Wednesday's decider. "Juvisy were more comfortable with the ball on the grass than we were, because we took a touch too many, too often," the defender said. "But they're good with the ball, so I think the difference will come down to us playing better."
The Swedish outfit, who succumbed to Arsenal LFC in their first UEFA Women's Champions League campaign last term, are bent on avoiding another exit at the same stage. With the tie still tight, Segerström sees her side as more than capable of turning things around. "We have to score a goal," she said. "We need to keep doing what we did at the end of the [first leg] rather than make any big changes."
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