Match report by Campbell FInlayson and photo via @HibsLadies on Twitter.
SWPL 1 side Hibernian fell to defeat in the first leg of their UEFA Women’s Champions League tie to Slavia Prague at Easter Road.
Siobhan Hunter gave Hibs an early lead but a hat-trick from Tereza Kožárová and Andrea Jarchovska’s wonder-strike saw the Czechs run out comfortable winners, ahead of the last-32 tie’s second leg in a fortnight’s time.
Slavia began brightly and had a chance within the opening seconds of the game, Kožárová with a glancing header that went well wide of the post.
Hibs reacted well though and moved in front on the two minute mark. Rachael Boyle’s corner smacked off the face of Shannon McGregor, but the ball fell for Hunter who blasted home her sixth goal in three games.
The away side came close to a leveller when the ball fell to Mia Persson on the edge of the area, but the Swede’s shot flew just over the bar.
On 36 minutes however, Slavia did level the scores with Kateřina Svitková rolling the ball through to Kožárová, who slotted the ball beyond Jenna Fife. Hibs almost gave another goal away when Fife miscontrolled the ball before scrambling it to safety under pressure from Petra Divišová.
Unfortunately for the Edinburgh side, they did fall 2-1 down five minutes before half time. Chelsea Cornet lost possession to Svitková out wide and she burst into the box where her cross ricocheted to Kožárová, who slammed the ball high into the net.
Jarchovska then made it three when she let fly from all of 30 yards with her shot sailing into the corner of the net as Slavia went in ahead at the break.
In the second half, McGregor stole the ball in the middle of the park before playing Jamie-Lee Napier through with her shot being kept out by Olivie Lukášová, although the offside flag was then raised.
Fife made a great save to deny Slavia a fourth in the 68th minute when she blocked Svitková’s shot after a neat cut back from Michaela Khýrová. Hibs reacted quickly with Boyle finding McGregor whose shot went wide of Lukášova’s right hand post.
It was 4-1 on 74 minutes with Kožárová completing her hat-trick. Her first effort was blocked by Hunter but as the rebound fell her way, she sent the ball high into the net.
The hosts aimed for a quick reply and had a chance when Boyle’s free-kick was met by the head of McGregor, but her effort had no purchase and was easily held by Lukášová. Amy Gallacher then forced a great save out of Lukášová with her powerful volley being tipped over for a corner.
In the end the Hibees couldn’t grab a second goal to take with them to the Czech Republic and it’s advantage Slavia in the second leg.
Hibernian: Fife; Notley (Leishman, 82), Hunter, Murray, Michie; Cornet; Gallacher, McGregor (Higgins, 82), Boyle, Cavanagh (Davidson, 61); Napier
Slavia Prague: Lukášová; Jarchovska, Necidová, Pincová, Blackwood; Bartoviĉová; Svitková, Persson; Divišová (Szewieczková, 70), Kožárová (Ĉerná, 89), Khýrová (Veselá, 82)
Grant Scott, Hibernian LFC Head Coach
Siobhan Hunter, Hibernian LFC Defender