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Staunch Birmingham hold Tyresö

Birmingham City LFC 0-0 Tyresö FF
A determined effort from a young Blues team ensured they kept out their Swedish visitors in the first leg.

Staunch Birmingham hold Tyresö
Staunch Birmingham hold Tyresö ©UEFA.com

Birmingham City LFC held Tyresö FF to a goalless draw to leave the UEFA Women's Champions League semi-final open heading into next Sunday's return in Sweden.

Tyresö had the better of the hosts for most of the match but a Birmingham back four with an average age of 20 worked hard to keep them out, just as they had in both quarter-final legs against Arsenal LFC. It was not until past the hour, though, that the home side carved out chances of their own to delight the sell-out 1,580 crowd.

Marta, Caroline Seger, Verónica Boquete and Meghan Klingenberg all overcame injury to start for Tyresö and they dominated the first 20 minutes. Early on Marta robed Kerys Harrop and shot narrowly off target, and a cross from the Brazil forward was turned just wide by Diaz.

Boquete was next to go close, breaking clear but hitting the outside of the upright. The ball fell nicely for Christen Press only for her effort to be charged down by Aoife Mannion. Lisa Dalhqvist floated a strike past the far post, but as the first half went on Birmingham, orchestrated by Karen Carney, began to have more of the game, though they were still living on their nerves to go in at the break 0-0.

The second half started with a blow for the Blues when Harrop was booked for handball, ruling her out of the second leg. But for now her and the rest of the young Birmingham defence were holding tight, Rebecca Spencer bravely claiming several dangerous high balls and stopping a Linda Sembrant header.

Melissa Lawley had Birmingham's best chance on the hour, running through the Tyresö midfield and putting her shot not far wide. Line Røddik delivered a cross which clipped the Birmingham crossbar, while Lawley broke clear again only for Seger to block. Press shot over as play swung from end to end in the dying minutes, with Carney then surging through but slicing her effort away.

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