Thursday, 17 October 2019

Women Football: Manchester City 1-1 Atletico Madrid - home side held to draw

Toni Duggan (left)

Manchester City had to settle for a draw in the first leg of their Women's Champions League last-16 tie with Atletico Madrid as a late goal cancelled out Janine Beckie's early opener.

Canada's Beckie had pounced on Keira Walsh's through ball to put City ahead, six minutes after Atletico's Elena Linari hit the crossbar.

City seemed to be in control until Charlyn Corral's 80th-minute equaliser rocked the boat.

The second leg will be played in Madrid on Wednesday, 30 October after City travel to rivals Manchester United and Arsenal in the Continental Cup and Women's Super League respectively.

Atletico should have taken the lead after six minutes when England forward Toni Duggan, returning to her former club, could only blast over the bar from five yards out.

Beckie showed composure moments later, after Duggan failed to take her chance in front of the home fans, who had chanted her name before kick-off.

Atletico then dominated most of the possession before the break but City were a threat on the counter-attack, with Lauren Hemp getting into good positions on the left.

It was Hemp who created the opening chance of the game - lifting it into Tessa Wullaert, who headed over the bar after four minutes.

But Gemma Bonner was beaten for pace by Ludmila Da Silva and could only bring her down on the edge of the box in the sixth minute.

Linari took advantage of the resulting free-kick - forcing a save out of City keeper Ellie Roebuck, before her rebound effort was tipped onto the bar.

City had plenty of chances to double their lead with Jill Scott and Hemp causing a nuisance in the box, particularly in the second half.

However, Roebuck had to be alert when Da Silva used her pace to break away again down the right and it was the Brazilian who created the equaliser, beating Demi Stokes on the byline before cutting the ball back for an unmarked Corral to slot home.

It silenced the majority of the 1,219 fans in attendance - a relatively low crowd for such an anticipated tie.

The result leaves the tie in the balance as City face a tough trip to Madrid against the team that knocked them out in the last 32 of the competition 13 months ago.

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