It was well known that Olympique Lyonnais would be stronger than the average European debutant - but 29 goals without reply was spectacular without a doubt.
It was well known that Olympique Lyonnais would be stronger than the average UEFA Women's Cup debutant - but 29 goals without reply in first qualifying round Group A6 was spectacular without a doubt.
Boasting high-profile new signings in French internationals Elodie Thomis and Louise Necib alongside established midfielders Sonia Bompastor and Camille Abily, striker Hoda Lattaf, plus Brazil duo Simone and Katia, Lyon came into their European debut well prepared, carrying the full backing of the men's club. That was not good news for their opponents in F.Y.R. Macedonia as they saw off Slovakia's FK Slovan Duslo Sala 12-0, home team ZFK Skiponjat 10-0 and ZNK SFK 2000 Sarajevo 7-0. Katia struck hat-tricks in the first and last match among a surfeit of scorers and their second qualifying round opponents, 2006/07 semi-finalists Brøndby IF and Kolbotn IL plus experienced campaigners AC Sparta Praha, will be right to be cautious when they meet in October.
Lyon coach Farid Benstiti said his team had been rewarded for their professional attitude. "When we came to the tournament we didn’t know where we were exactly compared to our opponents," Benstiti told uefa.com. "After our first game we were more or less confident that it would not be very difficult to win, but we concentrated only on our preparation for the matches and our performances on the field. We didn't know anything about the other teams, but the most important thing for me is to respect your opponents."
He added: "We are extremely happy about winning the tournament. This victory is more precious, because this was our first appearance in the competition, as we are champions of France for the first time. Behind this glorious success is very hard team work and discipline - this is the recipe."