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Women's Football News
Arsenal secured their advance to the quarter finals of the UEFA Women's Cup with a 6-0 victory over Austrian Champions FC Neulengbach.
The Arsenal team kicking off had a few new faces compared to the one that started against FC Zurich Frauen just three days ago; Julie Fleeting arrived in Lyon on Saturday morning and joined the striking contingency, while Yvonne Tracy returned from injury and replaced the now injured Ciara Grant and Jayne Ludlow started the afternoon on the bench.
It was clear from early on in the first half that the Austrian opponents were playing hard against Arsenal, with many strong tackles hitting the Gunners from the whistle. After a slow but tough first ten minutes, the first shot of the match came from Arsenal's Kelly Smith from a great ball passed to her on the edge of the box from Katie Chapman. The shot went less than a metre wide, keeping Neulengbach on their toes.
Neulengbach caught the Gunners off guard minutes later with a great run down the left wing from Dos Santos and, despite Alex Scott's great determination, the Brazilian managed to get a shot in which fell straight into the safe hands of Emma Byrne.
With twenty minutes gone, Arsenal opened the scoring. Alex Scott started the move from a throw-in, with Kelly Smith receiving the ball on the edge of the area where she fed a short pass to Fleeting, who was situated on the left side of the six yard box, calmly smashing her shot past Reischer.
The next twelve minutes saw the pressure kept high from Arsenal, with the ball rarely appearing in their half, and the continuous hard work paid off with the second goal of the half coming in the 32nd minute from Kim Little. Her fourth of the group stage came after Smith hammered a shot which was saved by the keeper, the ball then deflected straight to the feet of Little and great first touch volley saw the Gunners double their lead.
At the break, Smith had a few words to say to the referee and assistant after a poor offside decision was given disallowing a goal from Fleeting in the 41st minute. Fleeting chested the ball down from a Karen Carney corner, a hard tackle reduced Fleeting to the floor and her slow shot from a sitting down position was viewed as an offside pass to Smith, rather than an obvious shot on goal.
The second half started similar to the way the first half ended, with Arsenal in full control and the Austrians putting in a number of hard challenges. The Gunners were soon rewarded with their third goal of the match from Karen Carney in the 55th minute. Fleeting's fantastic vision saw a quick pass to Carney, who finished the move outstandingly.
The following twenty minutes were hard for the north Londoners, particularly for Kelly Smith who was substituted due to sustaining a dead leg after a bad challenge in the first half from a Neulengbach defender. Rachel Yankey came on to replace the England international and soon after in the 75th minute Arsenal scored their fourth goal through Carney, her second of the evening.
Yvonne Tracy added to the goal tally with her first ever European goal ten minutes later, picking up the loose ball from a Faye White header on target but punched away by Reischer. The ball fell kindly for Tracy who wasted no time in getting the ball in the back of the net. Gemma Davison netted the sixth goal after a perfect cross from the left of the pitch by Yankey, where the ball was met by Davison's right footed volley on the far post.
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