Match report by Campbell Finlayson and photo by Tommy Hughes.
Glasgow City secured their place in the next round of the UEFA Women’s Champions League with a comfortable victory over Russian side Chertanovo.
Goals from Hayley Lauder, Clare Shine, Rachel McLauchlan and a Ksenia Dzhinikashvili own goal cancelled out Kristina Komissarova’s early opener as City won 4-1 on the night, rounding off a 5-1 aggregate scoreline.
However, it was the Russians who made the perfect start, taking the lead after just three minutes. Komissarova found herself clean through on goal and despite claims for offside, the flag stayed down, allowing her to slot the ball beyond Lee Alexander.
It wasn’t long though before City equalised with Shine breaking down the left before squaring to Lauder to stick the ball into the net and send City back in front on aggregate.
The hosts continued to press after that leveller and went close again soon after following good work by Sam Kerr, her cutback finding Kirsty Howat but she couldn’t hit the target.
They then had shouts for a penalty turned down after 16 minutes when Lauder’s strike appeared to strike a defender’s arm, but the appeals were waved away by Spanish referee, Marta Huerta de Aza. The City pressure continued with McLauchlan coming close to making it 2-1, her strike from distance coming crashing back off the bar.
Howat should have put City in front on the night when she reacted fastest in the box to fire a shot at goal, but it was tipped wide by Diana Ponomareva. From the corner however, Jenna Clark’s header was blocked but it fell for Shine who hammered it into the roof of the net.
Lauder also went close for the home side, firing a shot just over the bar before McLauchlan almost converted a cross from Jo Love as City pressed for a third in the first period. There were further chances for Howat and McLauchlan before the half came to a close, but neither found the net as City went in at the break a goal ahead.
City’s dominance continued early in the second half when Leanne Crichton took aim, but her shot flew high and wide.
Chertanovo had a rare opportunity just after the hour mark when Anastasiya Trenkina made space for a shot, though her tame effort was held by Alexander.
If the Russians had any hope left, it was surely ended after 67 minutes when great build-up play involving Crichton and Howat resulted in the ball being worked out to the onrushing McLauchlan who rattled the ball high into the roof of the net.
The home side’s control was beginning to frustrate the Moscow side and Viktoriya Dubova was lucky that her sly elbow on McLauchlan went unnoticed by the officials. It should have been four soon after but Howat’s shot was blocked by the defender, with the striker departing a minute later, to be replaced by Megan Foley.
City did score number four on 76 minutes though, with Foley making an immediate impact as her cross fell onto the line before being bundled into the net, the final touch coming off Dzhinikashvili.
The City chances continued to come with Clare Shine glancing a header wide from a free-kick before Kerr drilled a ball across goal but there were no takers.
That rounded off the action on the night as City ensured they would be in Monday’s draw for the last-16.
Glasgow City: Alexander; McLauchlan, Ross, Clark, Docherty; Kerr, Crichton (Sinclair, 79), Love, Lauder; Howat (Foley, 75), Shine (Paton, 86)
Chertanovo: Ponomareva; Dzhinikashvili, Bessolova, Morozova, Govor; Trenkina, Belousova, Kuzmina, Dubova; Abdulina, Komissarova
Scott Booth, Glasgow City FC Head Coach, and Hayley Lauder, Glasgow City FC Forward