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Duisburg and Potsdam produce four-goal draw

FCR 2001 Duisburg 2-2 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam
The holders were pegged back twice by Duisburg as all four goals came in the first half of this stirring all-German semi-final.

Inka Grings (right) celebrates after scoring Duisburg's first equaliser against Potsdam
Inka Grings (right) celebrates after scoring Duisburg's first equaliser against Potsdam ©FCR 2001 Duisburg

Domestic rivals FCR 2001 Duisburg and holders 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam shared four goals in the first leg of their UEFA Women's Champions League semi-final.

Although Isabel Kerschowski and Yuki Nagasato twice brought Potsdam the lead in the first half of this all-German affair, Inka Grings and Jennifer Oster were able to equalise for the hosts before 3,260 spectators and set up an intriguing return next Sunday.

An indication of the eventful first period to come arrived after just 15 seconds, when Duisburg goalkeeper Christina Bellinghoven managed to parry Jennifer Zietz's free-kick. Five minutes later, Anna Felicitas Sarholz denied Alexandra Popp at the other end with a fine stop.

The goal that was being threatened soon arrived as Kerschowski rifled in a fierce 30-metre free-kick on 16 minutes. The scorer almost turned provider moments later when she picked out Anja Mittag with a clever chip, only for the 25-year-old to volley over the crossbar.

Mittag would soon rue her miss as Popp found Inka Grings with a searching through ball which the Duisburg striker despatched clinically past Sarholz. Within three minutes the visitors had regained the lead, Mittag retrieving a seemingly lost cause, keeping the ball in play and crossing for Nagasato to power in from close range.

Once more the holders were unable to cling on to their advantage, as Potsdam's defensive vulnerability was exposed by a Popp pass that Oster finished with relish three minutes before half-time.

If the first half was characterised by lethal finishing, the opposite was true of the second period as Popp passed up the opportunity to score when shooting weakly at Sarholz shortly after the restart. Mittag's effort on the hour was blocked in the area and Fatmire Bajramaj's solo run set up a chance for Potsdam team-mate Bianca Schmidt, who somehow missed from a metre out.

With seconds remaining, Bajramaj sent a vicious shot from the edge of the area against the bar, but Potsdam will nonetheless be comforted by the two away goals they will seek to build on in the return on home soil next weekend.

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