Manchester City set up a Women’s Champions League rematch against Real Madrid this Sunday after they dispatched Tomiris-Turan 6-0 in their first qualifier.
Khadija “Bunny” Shaw struck twice in the first half, with Lauren Hemp adding a third just before the break. City’s Kazakh opponents kept the scoreline down until the 82nd minute before Vicky Losada, Deyna Castellanos and Keira Walsh added late goals.
Real Madrid, the hosts of this qualifying mini-group, beat Austrian side Sturm Graz by the same scoreline, with Esther González scoring four of Real’s goals. The two sides will meet at the Estadio Alfredo di Stefano on Sunday in a one-off tie, with the winners progressing to the final playoff round.
It offers a chance for Gareth Taylor’s side to gain revenge after Real Madrid eliminated them from qualifying in last season’s tournament. The Spanish side progressed to the quarter-finals, where they were beaten by arch-rivals Barcelona over two legs.
It took only four minutes for Manchester City to take the lead in Thursday’s group semi-final, with Shaw heading home from Hemp’s cross. The Jamaica international’s second goal was also set up by one of City’s Lionesses – Chloe Kelly, scorer of England’s Wembley winner, turned provider as Shaw headed her cross into the net.
City’s front three were a constant threat in Madrid, with Hemp getting on the scoresheet in the 46th minute after neat build-up play from Shaw and Kelly. In the second half, Hemp thought she had scored a second from Kelly’s cross but the winger was ruled offside.
Taylor rang the changes midway through the second half, with Hayley Raso, Vicky Losada and Deyna Castellanos forming a new attacking trident. Tomiris-Turan keeper Aitaj Sharifova produced fine saves to deny Raso and Castellanos, but could not prevent Losada from slotting home a fourth goal in the 82nd minute.
Castellanos, who signed from Atlético Madrid this summer, got her debut goal five minutes later after winning and converting a penalty. The scoring was completed in stoppage time when a low cross towards Keira Walsh was diverted in off Sharifova.
Elsewhere in the “League Path” qualifiers, reserved for sides who failed to win their domestic league, Glasgow City were eliminated by Roma. Benedetta Glionna’s double helped the Italian side defeat their group hosts 3-1 and set up a final against Paris FC.
The two other group finals will see Ajax face Eintracht Frankfurt and FC Minsk play Rosenborg. The four winners of Sunday’s one-legged play-off will then advance to the final qualifying round, where PSG, Arsenal, Bayern Munich, Häcken, Real Sociedad and Sparta Prague await. There are five places in the group stage up for grabs.
In the “Champions Path”, Rangers took a big step towards qualifying with a 3-1 win over Ferencvaros. Jenny Daniellsson scored twice and Brogan Hay was also on target in Greece as the Scottish champions set up a final against PAOK, who overcame Welsh title winners Swansea City 2-0.
The Italian champions, Juventus, put four past Luxembourg’s Racing-Union in Turin, to set up a play-off with Israeli side Kiryat Gat. USA veteran Heather O’Reilly got the winner as Irish side Shelbourne beat their Slovenian hosts, Pomurje, 1-0. They will face Iceland’s Valur for a place in the final qualifying round.