Røa IL admit they will be playing for pride when they welcome 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam 5-0 down though their opponents are not yet thinking of a semi-final against FCR 2001 Duisburg.
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Røa IL coach Geir Nordby had some doubts about his side ahead of last Wednesday's UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-final first leg at 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam, and his fears were confirmed when the Norwegian titleholders were comprehensively beaten 5-0.
The result leaves 2004/05 UEFA Women's Cup winners Potsdam on the verge of an all-German semi-final against holders FCR 2001 Duisburg next month unless Røa can produce a spectacular result in what wll be striker Lene Mykjåland's last appearance before joining Washington Freedom. Nordby said: "I was disappointed by our showing. Potsdam were a very good side, but we played far from our best. The return leg is now a formality, but we hope to make more of a game of it."
Defender Siri Nordby, sister of the coach, believes they can at least restore some pride on home – artificial – turf. "We struggled to get any sort of game going," she said. "The girls feel that they can much better. We will give them a better run for their money on our artificial pitch. We aim to win the game, but to pull back five goals is nearly impossible."
Unsurprisingly Potsdam midfielder Nadine Kessler, scorer of two first-leg goals, is in agreement. "There is no way we are going to squander that lead," said the recently-capped German international. "We want to play at full throttle and gain even more confidence for the decisive weeks ahead. Also, we can further refine the way our team works."
Those "decisive weeks" seem set to involve four meetings with the German champions' main title challengers Duisburg, who Potsdam play in the league and German Cup semi-final before their likely European tie on 10/11 and 17/18 April. But Potsdam coach Bernd Schröder warned: "First we have to put on a decent performance in the return leg in Oslo, then we can deal with Duisburg." He is not concerned by the artificial surface, explaining: "This should not be a problem. This is more of an advantage for technically strong teams like us."