Favourites on collision course

A rematch of last season's UEFA Women's Cup final looms after the last eight draw was confirmed.

HJK Helsinki face a difficult task if they want to match their UEFA Women's Cup semi-final feat of last season - as they take on holders 1. FFC Frankfurt in the last eight of the 2002/03 edition.

Two newcomers
Six of last season's quarter-finalists have repeated their achievement this time around - and the two newcomers, Denmark's Fortuna Hjørring and CSK VVS Samara of Russia, have equalled the feat of their compatriots in 2001/02.

Frankfurt on form
German side Frankfurt, who overcame Umeå IK of Sweden in last season's final, were on impressive form in winning Group 3 with maximum points, scoring 17 goals. Finland's HJK found things tougher in Group 4, keeping three clean sheets, but only pipping Swiss club FC Sursee on goal difference after a scoreless draw between the sides on the final day of their mini-tournament.

Tough task for Toulouse
Swedish representatives Umeå, who overcame HJK in the 2001/02 semi-finals, will now face the side knocked out by Frankfurt in that stage last season, Toulouse FC of France. Umeå had the more comfortable passage from Group 1, matching Frankfurt's record of three wins and 17 goals. Toulouse, on the other hand, were taken all the way by hosts S.S. Lazio Femminile in Group 2, the French side's 9-0 final-day victory against Israel's Maccabi Haifa taking them through on goal difference.

All-Scandinavian tie
There were three all-Scandinavian match-ups in last season's knockout phase, and this year's quarter-finals has thrown up another, as SK Trondheims-Ørn of Norway face newcomers Hjørring. Trondhiem, whose campaign in 2001/02 ended against HJK, were on superb group stage form, scoring 18 without reply, including a 12-0 victory against hosts FC PAOK Thessaloniki. Hjørring have also taken to the competition - winning their three games with clean sheets, registering 17 goals to repeat the achievement of 2001/02 quarter-finalists Odense BK.

Arsenal meet debutants
England's Arsenal LFC take on CSK in the fourth quarter-final, both teams having emerged from tight groups. Arsenal edged to a 2-1 victory against Spanish champions Levante UD to claim Group 7, while CSK overtook Portuguese club SU 1. Dezembro with a final-day 3-0 victory to match the feat of compatriots TNK Ryazan last season.

Two-legged affairs
All games in the last eight, semi-finals and the final will be played over two legs on a home-and-away basis rather than last season's one-offs. And there is a potentially mouthwatering semi-final tie in prospect, with Frankfurt and Umeå meeting again next year if they progress past HJK and Toulouse.

2002/03 UEFA Women's Cup quarter-final draw
Umeå IK (SWE) v Toulouse FC (FRA)
1. FFC Frankfurt (GER) v HJK Helsinki (FIN)
SK Trondheims-Ørn (NOR) v Fortuna Hjørring (DEN)
Arsenal LFC (ENG) v CSK VVS Samara (RUS)


2002/03 UEFA Women's Cup semi-final draw

Umeå/Toulouse v Frankfurt/Helsinki
Trondheim/Hjørring v Arsenal/CSK


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