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Women's Football News
Arsenal 2 (Chapman 70, White 82)
FFC Turbine Potsdam 1 (Ogimi 89)
Arsenal will take a one-goal advantage into the second leg of their UEFA Women's Champions League Round of 16 tie but a late goal from the visitors has left matters on the edge after a well contested first leg.
Second half goals from Katie Chapman and Ellen White had put the Gunners in control of matters but a Yuki Ogimi's well executed strike gives Potsdam a precious away goal going into the second meeting.
Potsdam tried to carry the game to Arsenal during the opening stages with Antonia Goransson firing a shot over the bar following a strong run. The same player then tried her luck from fully 30 yards with an effort that flew straight at Emma Byrne.
Potsdam were dealt a blow when Natasa Andonova was stretchered from the field with a serious looking injury following an innocuous looking challenge.
Arsenal began to settle down and get back into their normal rhythm, Steph Houghton threading a good pass which was laid off by Jordan Nobbs into the path of Alex Scott whose speculative shot flew narrowly over. They should however have been in front three minutes later when a Rachel Yankey cross picked out Kelly Smith but she sidefooted her shot over the bar from point blank range.
Another good ball from Yankey released Nobbs in the area where she appeared to be brought down by Alyssa Naeher as she came off her line, however Arsenal appeals for a penalty were waved away.
Smith tested Naeher with a free kick as Arsenal continued to probe but at the other end, Potsdam passed up a great chance as a loose back pass from Nobbs was not cleared by Byrne and Patricia Haneback stole in but Gilly Flaherty managed to get back and cover, meaning she lifted her shot just over the bar.
The second half started quietly with the first opportunity going the way of the German side. Lisa Evans did well to get to the goal line and cut the ball back for Stefanie Mirlach whose shot was charged down and although Kim Little initially miscued her clearance, she did well to recover and block the resulting effort from Goransson.
Arsenal began to pick up the pace again with Gemma Davison's reverse pass released Little on goal but Naeher just did enough to put off the Scottish midfielder as she attempted to take the ball round her.
Davison was tormenting the Potsdam defence with her scorching pace and she was next to go close, intercepting a clearance before driving into the area where her shot was tipped into the side netting by Naeher. From the resulting corner, taken by Little, Flaherty's looping header drifted just wide.
Davison dragged a shot wide after being found on the left by a sublime Little pass and Nobbs was also off target when Yankey neatly flicked a Davison pass into her path.
However the increasing pressure eventually told with Arsenal taking the lead with twenty minutes left. Yankey's inswinging corner was not dealt with by the Potsdam defence and Chapman stole in to prod the ball home from six yards.
Jennifer Beattie, on as a second half substitute, headed just wide from a Davison cross and a Little corner was half cleared as far as Yankey, whose deflected shot was held at the second attempt by Naeher.
There was a huge scare for Arsenal at the other end though as Goransson slid the ball into the path of Evans who looked poised to score but Alex Scott was on hand to clear off the line and the ball was scrambled away before Keelin Winters could put home the rebound. Arsenal went immediately on the attack and a shrewd pass by Yankey put Little through on goal but her shot was saved by Naeher.
Two minutes later though, Little intercepted a pass from Ogimi and slipped the ball through to Ellen White who took a touch before planting a low left foot shot past Naeher to double her side's lead.
However just as Arsenal were looking comfortable, Potsdam came up with a response which will give them renewed hope for next week's return match. After Arsenal had given away the ball on the left, Stefanie Draws pumped the ball towards the edge of the area where Ogimi executed a perfect chest trap and volley which dipped over Byrne to reduce the arrears.
Arsenal: Emma Byrne, Alex Scott, Niamh Fahey, Katie Chapman, Gilly Flaherty, Steph Houghton, Gemma Davison (sub Ellen White 77mins), Jordan Nobbs, Kelly Smith (sub Jennifer Beattie 66mins), Kim Little, Rachel Yankey (sub Danielle Carter 86mins). Subs not used: Sophie Harris, Yvonne Tracy, Ciara Grant, Bianca Bragg.
FFC Turbine Potsdam: Alyssa Naeher, Antonia Goransson, Heleen Jaques, Natasa Andonova (sub Wibke Meister 11mins (sub Stefanie Mirlach 30mins)), Stefanie Draws, Keelin Winters, Sara Doursoon-Khajeh, Lisa Evans (sub Jeannette Yango 90mins), Yuki Ogimi, Patricia Hanebeck, Jennifer Cramer. Subs not used: Anna Felicitas Sarholz, Alexandra Singer, Sandra Starke.
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