FC Barcelona Women v FC Minsk: Through to round of 16 in downpour (2-1)
Barça confirmed their place in the next round of the Champions League with a comeback victory over Minsk played in heavy rain
FC Barcelona Women are in the round of 16 of the UEFA Women’s Champions League after winning the return leg 2-1 against Minsk at the Miniestadi following a 3-0 away victory in the first leg. Xavi Llorens' team recovered from going a goal down to the Belarusian team in the second half. Goals from Jenni Hermoso, from the spot, and from Andressa Alves ensured a safe passage to the next round.
The Catalans were superior from the beginning and managed to play confidently and control the game in spite of the adverse meteorological conditions. Ràfols was rarely troubled in goal and Barça launched wave after wave of attack leading to multiple chances.
Alves, who was busy throughout, had a few chances and Alexia hit the post following a deflection from one of the opposition's defenders. Visiting keeper Kovalchuk pulled off a remarkable string of saves which kept the scores level in spite of the home team's domination.
Comeback seals classification
Minsk failed to muster a shot on target during the first half and the Catalans looked likely to score at any moment. However, Minsk went up the pitch and took the lead against the run of play thanks to a powerful shot from Ogbiagbevha. Barça reacted strongly and, following a handball in the box, Hermoso tucked the resulting penalty away confidently.
With the game levelled, Llorens' team went for the victory and got their second thanks to Andressa Alves' wonderful solo goal. In the final quarter of an hour, the large quantities of water on the pitch limited the amount of football that could be played. Barça women's convincing performance over both legs sealed their place in the next round. The European adventure continues!