Montpellier Hérault SC and Brøndby IF breathed a collective sigh of relief after holding on for their places in the last 16 of the UEFA Women's Champions League following major second-leg panics.
Article top media content
Former UEFA Women's Cup semi-finalists Montpellier Hérault SC and Brøndby IF are breathing sighs of relief after taking their places in the UEFA Women's Champions League round of 16. For full results click here.
Five Inka Grings goals helped reigning European champions FCR 2001 Duisburg seal an 11-4 aggregate success over WFC Universitet Vitebsk as the round of 32 was concluded. Yet while they and former UEFA Women's Cup winners 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam, Umeå IK and Arsenal LFC secured convincing home wins to complete comfortable progress, other encounters were in the balance. Montpellier welcomed Standard Fémina de Liège after a goalless first leg and the visitors led at half-time through Marie Meunier. Two goals in as many minutes from Nora Hamou Maamar and substitute Élodie Ramos just past the hour turned things around, Marie-Laure Delie sealing a 3-1 win.
Brøndby seemed to have done enough after a 2-1 victory at AZ Alkmaar last week but Line Røddik Hansen's own goal eight minutes into the return gave the Dutch visitors hope. However, Annelies Zondag was dismissed just before the break and Nanna Christiansen's last-minute strike confirmed Brøndby's progress. Norway's Røa IL were 3-0 up ahead of their visit to Everton LFC but the English side, depleted by illness last week, scored early on through Emily Westwood and substitute Michelle Hinnigan claimed a second with 33 minutes left but they could not level the tie. Røa now meet last season's runners-up Zvezda-2005.
One side did overturn a first-leg deficit: AC Sparta Praha scoring two without reply against Kazakhstan's Alma KTZH to win 2-1 in aggregate and set up a tie with Arsenal, who defeated FC PAOK 9-0 for a second week running. Austria's SV Neulengbach were beaten 1-0 at home by RTP 'Unia' Racibórz but won 3-2 on aggregate thanks to their victory in Poland.
Round of 16
The round of 16 is played on 4 and 11 November and some close ties are in prospect. Duisburg will take on current Swedish league leaders Linköpings FC, aiming to emulate the German club by become European champions at their first attempt. A side that achieved that feat in 2004/05, Potsdam, meet Brøndby. Olympique Lyonnais take on Fortuna Hjørring, runners-up on their only UEFA Women's Cup entry in 2002/03 and victors in the round of 32 against former ASD CF Bardolino Verona.
Road to Madrid
Winners from next month's ties go into the draw for the rest of the competition on 20 November, with the quarter-finals in March, semi-finals in April and the new one-off final in Madrid on 20 May, two days before the men's UEFA Champions League final in the same city. For a full calendar click here.