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In its first UEFA Women’s Champions League semifinal game in Club history, FC Barcelona gave it their all but came up a pair of goals short, as Paris Saint-Germain came into the Miniestadi and scored a highly valuable road victory, 3–1, in the first leg of the last four.
The record crowd of 10,352 went hoarse cheering on the team, and exploded when Bárbara Latorre scored in the final minutes to avoid a shutout and offer Barça a glimmer of hope heading into the second leg in Paris.
Aware of the game’s importance, the Catalanas came out firing on all cylinders, keeping the aggressive French attack away from Blaugrana goalkeeper, Sandra Paños.
PSG led in the battle for possession, but neither side had clear chances, as Xavi Llorens, the Barça manager, ordered his side into a tight defensive block.
Barça made its first sustained advance into the Paris half in the 23rd minute, but an offside call prevented Leila from getting her shot on goal. Two minutes later PSG answered with a goal by Delie.
Barça battled on, though, despite the difficulties presented by the speedy French. Cristiane headed in PSG’s second before the intermission, incredibly on just their second shot on goal of the game. A Barça corner kick before halftime set up a shot by Miriam, but she was unable to strike it solidly enough.
Time to react
PSG opened the second half with Shirley Cruz smacking a shot off the crossbar, before she made it 3–0 five minutes later.
The huge crowd however, kept Barça afloat, and they tried longer passes to try and thwart the PSG defense.
Vicky Losada had a shot saved by Kiedrzynek. And just when the clock was ticking down in the final minutes and it appeared as if the final score was written in stone, Bárbara Latorre, who came on as a second half sub, found the net to make it 3–1.
The dream may have faded a little, but there’s a return leg next week in Paris. And a pair of Barça goals there could make things very interesting.
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