Real Madrid Femenino drew 1-1 in the first leg of their UEFA Women’s Champions League qualifier with Manchester City thanks to a late Kenti Robles equalizer. The tie will be decided in Manchester on Sept. 8.
Las Blancas made their debut in a European competition on Tuesday night in the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano against Manchester City in their UEFA Women’s Champions League qualifier. City were able to find their wingers in space early in the match and forced Misa into some big saves.
In the sixth minute, Janine Beckie crossed to the back post and Lauren Hemp came sliding through to meet it. Misa came out quickly and blocked the shot. Beckie lofted a cross toward the back post again, six minutes later. The cross looked destined for the top corner and Misa needed to backpedal and tip the cross wide to prevent the opening goal. The keeper made another diving save to deny Khadija Shaw from close range.
Real Madrid slowly worked their way into the match. They limited service to Beckie and Hemp and won the ball in the center of the pitch. Las Blancas went forward quickly through Athenea and Olga Carmona.
Athenea found space down the right channel and played it to Nahikari Garcia in the 22nd minute. Garcia cut her pass behind the defenders to Esther Gonzalez, who had her shot saved. Less than a minute later, Esther hit a header into the side-netting.
In the 28th minute, Teresa drove through the center of the pitch before sliding a pass wide to Kaci. Kaci squared to Esther but the striker couldn’t steer her shot on target.
Real Madrid’s best chance of the half came late. Las Blancas earned a corner and Kaci headed the ball back into the penalty area. Ivana Andres ran toward it and attempted to shoot. She was brought down and Esther stepped to the penalty spot. Esther sailed her shot over the crossbar.
Manchester City made Real Madrid pay for their wastefulness in front of goal early in the second half. Hemp got past Lucia and created chaos. The ball bounced around in the box and Babett Peter made a sliding challenge to get the ball away from Shaw. It fell to the feet of Caroline Weir, who hammered the ball past Misa and into the net.
Teresa lofted a cross-field pass to Olga Carmona down the left flank in the 53rd minute. Olga drove toward the end line and crossed to Esther. The forward flicked her header toward goal and it clanked off the crossbar.
Real Madrid continued to create their best chances by pressuring City into dangerous turnovers. Las Blancas won the ball back in the final third in the 75th minute. Kenti Robles drifted wide and crossed to the head of Nahikari Garcia. She headed the ball toward goal but it was saved easily.
City put the ball in the back of the net in the 78th minute from a corner kick. But Misa was fouled in the process and the goal was waved off.
Real Madrid finally found an equalizer in stoppage time. Athenea crossed into the box and Esther passed to Nahikari Garcia. The ball popped out to Robles, who flew through and put her low shot into the corner of the net, tying the match at 1-1.
Real Madrid Femenino start the Primera Iberdrla season on Sept. 5. They will travel to Valencia to take on Levante. Las Blancas and Manchester City will meet in Manchester for the second leg of the UWCL qualifier on Sept. 8. Kickoff is slated for 2:00 p.m. EST (8:00 p.m. CET).