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Class shows as Frankfurt win through

Montpellier HSC 2-3 1. FFC Frankfurt (agg: 3-3, Frankfurt win on away goals) The German champions worked hard to reach their third final in five years.

Six days after pulling off a shock 1-0 win at 1. FFC Frankfurt, French champions Montpellier HSC have been knocked out of the UEFA Women's Cup on away goals following a thrilling second leg in which both teams had a player sent off.

Missed opportunities
Two goals from Sandra Smisek and one from Renate Lingor were enough to take the 2001/02 European champions through by the tightest margin. Despite being dominated for much of the game, Montpellier proved their win in Germany was no fluke and had chances to go through, but were twice denied by the woodwork twice and failed to convert a penalty.

Smisek strikes
Hans-Jürgen Tritschoks had the Frankfurt players pouring forward from the outset, and it took just ten minutes for Smisek to level the aggregate scores from close range after being set up by Kerstin Garefrekes. A home crowd of around 2,000 at the Stade Joseph Blanc saw their enthusiastic support rewarded as Ludivine Diguelman - the scorer of the only goal in the first leg - found the net directly from a corner on 16 minutes after goalkeeper Marleen Wissink misjudged her punch.

Montpellier denied
Having regained the aggregate lead, Montpellier, without the suspended Sonia Bompastor and Camile Abilly, could have gone one better but Virginie Faisandier's shot struck the crossbar. Eight minutes before the break the visitors' possession finally told as Lingor put Frankfurt back in front. The German international then turned provider, her corner finding Smisek to volley in four minutes after the break, and the tie appeared to be safe. Montpellier now needed two to go through and had a great chance to pull one back after Elodie Ramos was brought down in the area, but Wissink turned away Hoda Lattaf's penalty.

Tempers frayed
Both sides were reduced to ten players when Faisandier and Wissink were given their marching orders. Elodie Thomis rattled the goal frame on 79 minutes and four minutes later won another spot-kick. Diguelman took over the penalty-taking duties and made no mistake as Montpellier levelled the aggregate score, but Frankfurt held on to reach their third final in five years.