Women's Champions League preview: WFC Kharkiv vs Breidablik
Monday, November 8, 2021
Two teams without a point in Group B face off in Kharkiv.
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Two of the five sides still seeking their first group stage points face each other in Ukraine as WFC Kharkiv welcome Breidablik, with the Group B rivals also hoping to open their scoring accounts and coming off the back of 5-0 defeats inspired by first-half hat-tricks on Matchday 2.
• Kharkiv conceded the first-ever group stage treble on 13 October away to last season's semi-finalists Paris Saint-Germain, Jordyn Huitema claiming the match ball in the space of 18 first-half minutes. Paulina Dudek and Lea Khelifi both struck after half-time.
• The Vyshcha Liha title holders have mustered only one attempt on goal in the first two matchdays, the joint lowest among the 16 participants along with Häcken.
• Breidablik, the first Icelandic outfit to reach a major group stage in UEFA men's or women's club football, were beaten 5-0 at Real Madrid on Matchday 2, Caroline Møller scoring three times before the break. Olga Carmona (48) and Lorena Navarro (89) completed the scoring.
• On Matchday 1, Kharkiv were narrowly beaten by Madrid – Lorena Navarro scoring the only goal – whilst the Úrvalsdeild kvenna champions restricted Paris to a 2-0 victory in Kopavogur.
Ones to watch: Kharkiv
• The 29-year-old leads her team in terms of tackles attempted in this season's group stage with eight, despite starting only one of the two encounters so far – the 5-0 Matchday 2 loss away to Paris on 13 October.
• The defender began her career with Kharkiv, scooping four league titles before a move to Russian club Ryazan-VDV in 2012, where she won two championships in a six-year spell.
• The Ukrainian international returned to her homeland in January 2019 to rejoin her first side.
• The 32-year-old joined Kharkiv in December 2019 following a spell playing in Russia, where she scooped two titles with Zvezda Perm and also lifted the league championship in 2016 with Rossiyanka.
• The midfielder was one of two players for the club to scored in all four qualifiers ahead of this inaugural group stage, and had her side's only effort on target across the opening two matches.
• The Ukrainian international returned to the national side in September, scoring the winner in the 1-0 defeat of Turkey, and was among the goals again in a FIFA Women's World Cup qualifying victory against the Faroe Islands on 21 October.
• The 27-year-old is Kharkiv's leading scorer in the competition so far this term, having struck in all four qualifiers for a total of five goals.
• The forward clinched her seventh Ukrainian league title with Kharkiv in 2020/21, to go with the six she collected in seven years before leaving to play in the Primera División in 2019.
• Ovdiychuk is in her second spell with the club, rejoining in the summer of 2020 following a season in the Spanish capital with Atlético de Madrid.
• The Ukrainian international has been the top scorer in the Ukrainian Women's League on four occasions, most recently in 2018/19 when she hit 30 goals.
Ones to watch: Breidablik
Agla María Albertsdóttir
• The 22-year-old has mustered a club-high four shots in the group stage so far.
• Albertsdóttir was the club's top scorer in the qualifying campaign with six goals – including a hat-trick against Gintr – having shared the Icelandic top flight's golden boot with team-mate Sveindís Jane Jónsdóttir in the title-winning 2020 season.
• The attacker was pipped to the golden boot in the Icelandic 2021 league campaign by Selfoss's Brenna Lovera, whose total of 13 goals was one more than Albertsdóttir.
• The 22-year-old – who has played every minute of her side's European campaign thus far – has made the most saves in the UEFA Women's Champions League group stage (18).
• The goalkeeper, who has been with Breidablik since 2015, only made her debut for the club this season having previously been loaned out to Grindavík, Haukur, Augnablik and FH.
• Ívarsdóttir is yet to make her senior international bow, having been an unused substitute for both of Iceland's Women's World Cup qualifiers last month.
• The 30-year-old ended the league season as Breidablik's second highest scorer with eight goals, and also struck in the 4-0 Cup final success against Thróttur Reykjavík.
• McCarty scored three goals in qualifying for this group stage, finding the net in both Round 1 appearances including a double in the 8-1 win against Gintr.
• The American-born forward joined Breidablik in April 2021 having been on the books of fellow Icelandic side Selfoss for the 2020 campaign.
• Kharkiv and Breidablik are among the six sides still looking for their first group goal.
• Kharkiv have not drawn any of their last 14 UEFA Women's Champions League matches, since being held 2-2 by SFK 2000 Sarajevo in August 2016.
• This is Breidablik's 35th match in the UEFA Women’s Champions League and their first against a Ukrainian club.