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  • Writer's pictureTone Rasmussen

UEFA Women's Champions League: Quarter-Finals Draw

The UEFA Women's Champions League group stages have been concluded, but not without drama. Lyon, Brann, Chelsea, Barcelona, and Benfica all punched their tickets to the quarterfinal before the last round while Ajax, PSG, and BK Häcken had everything to play for.


BK Häcken secured their spot after beating Real Madrid 1-0 at home to become the first Swedish side to progress past the group stages. In Group C with Ajax and PSG everything came down to the last moments of the games. Ajax narrowly edged past Roma 2-1. PSG, who was down 1-0 to half time and were out entirely of the competition at times, managed to score two goals to win the group with a better goal differential than Ajax. The first games will be played March 19-20th while the second leg will be played March 27-28th with the Group Winners playing home in the second leg.


Ajax vs Chelsea

Game 1: March 19th at 1:45 p.m. EST

Game 2: March 27th at 4:00 p.m. EST

Watch on DAZN


In the first quarterfinal English champions Chelsea will face off against Dutch champions Ajax.


Ajax has been making some noise in European football for the past years and has now qualified for their first-ever UWCL quarterfinal. In a tough group where they were considered outsiders, they were able to get one win over the other three teams, proving to everyone that they should not be underestimated.


With one look at the team sheet what stands out is that every player but one is Dutch. Lily Yohannes from the U.S. being the odd one out. Romee Leutcher and Sherida Spitse are the two names that stand out immediately. Romee Leutcher has been wanted by several big clubs the past season but has opted to stay at home with Ajax. The 23-year-old forward has been the club's top scorer for the past two years and is the current leading top scorer. Sherida Spitse is one of the most experienced players in international football and brings routine and poise as the captain of this team and has a canon of a set piece foot.


Chelsea were favourites to win their group with ease and despite two draws, they had no problem progressing. Sam Kerr will be missed but, Lauren James and Johanna Rytting Kaneryd have been pulling the heavy load for Chelsea offensively this season.


Chelsea is a very well-organized team that has a lot of depth on the bench. With Millie Bright and Catarina Macario back from injury and the addition of record-signing Mayra Ramirez, they're in good shape. The Blues will no doubt be looking to make it back to the championship game but have to face a formidable and young Ajax team that will do everything they can to make that not happen.




Benfica vs Lyon

Game 1: March 19th at 4:00 p.m. EST

Game 2: March 27th at 1:45 p.m. EST

Watch on DAZN


The last time Benfica met Lyon in the UWCL they lost 10-0 on aggregate to a Lyon side that eventually went on to become champions for the eighth time.


This time the Benfica squad is more experienced and has slowly been building over the past years. If there is one thing that is sure it is to never count Benfica out. With a thrilling 4-4 draw against Barcelona and finishing above Eintracht Frankfurt, they know how to entertain. Jessica Sílva is one of the most fun players to watch and can make something happen out of nothing. The Benfica squad will not make it easy for a Lyon team wanting to reclaim the title of Champions of Europe.




Lyon is a club with so much history in this competition, having broken all the records there is to break and then some. Ada Hegerberg and Kadidatou both have five goals each in the group stages. Despite a couple of seasons where they haven't been as dominant as we are used to seeing them, they still look like a solid contender for the title.


Having not had to play in the toughest group in the group stages they still didn't cruise through the group and despite having a goal difference of +20 they only won the group one point ahead of Brann in second. Lyons' Captain, and one of the most decorated footballers, Wendie Renard has been out with an undisclosed hip injury and her presence and leadership are missed.






BK Häcken vs Paris Saint-Germain

Game 1: March 20th at 1:45 p.m EST

Game 2: March 28th at 4:00 p.m. EST

Watch on DAZN


The Gothenburg side is not necessarily a stranger to Champions League play. After Köpparsberg/Göteborg and BK Häcken fused in 2021 they have been playing in the UWCL every season.


BK Häcken was in a group with Chelsea, Real Madrid, and Paris FC. They were able to pull out a scoreless draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge much thanks to the effort of Jennifer Falk in goal. Falk has been in and out of the Swedish National Team but has had a stellar season for Häcken. They also won both games against Real Madrid and are not afraid to play their own game against bigger teams. 20-year-old forward, Rosa Kafaji scored a stunning goal in the last round and has 14 goals in 19 games for the Swedish side. She will be a player to keep an eye on.




When PSG last met Häcken they beat them 4-1 to advance to the group stages in 22/23. You never really know what to expect of the Paris side and they will keep you on your toes.


Over the past season, they have assembled a squad consisting of several well-known players such as Jackie Groenen, Grace Geyoro, and Marie-Aintonette Katoto. Katoto returning from injury and softening the blow of Dianis departure to OL. They have players who show glimpses of brilliance and can make something happen out of nothing.


In the last group stage game against Bayern Munich the French side was down 1-0 when PSG goalkeeper Picaud sent a long ball up the field where Chawinga bodied off a Bayern defender before safely rounding the goalkeeper to get them level.





Brann vs Barcelona

March 20th

March 28th

03:00 am ET

DAZN


Brann had already made history when they qualified for the group stages as the first Norwegian team to do so after the new format. They continued to make history when they became the first team to come back from a 2-0 deficit since 2004, thanks to 18-year-old Signe Gaupsets' goal in overtime at Åsane Arena.


Despite being in group with previously UWCL tested St.Pölten and Salvia Praha they were still able to keep possession and be dominant on the ball. They have gotten praise for being bold enough to play their own game and not get intimidated against the likes of Lyon. Now, they need to do the same against Barcelona. That mentality led Justine Kielland to score what might be one of the best goals of this UWCL campaign against Lyon. This Brann team has already exceeded every expectation but will do everything they can to not let this be the end of a historic season.




Titleholders Barcelona will want to make their fourth final in a row and they've got all the pieces to it. Barcelona only dropped points to Benfica in the group stages and are not slowing down.


This team has so many offensive weapons with Salma Paraluello and Caroline Graham Hansen up top. Aitana Bonmati who just won the Ballon d´Or and Keira Walsh in midfield with Ona Battle and Irene Paredes in defense plus Cata Coll who has emerged as the first choice of GK for the Spanish has this team looking solid. This is a star-studded team that will play with the burden of being favorites to win it all.


Barcelona is a technical and tactical sound team that can adapt well to the style of their opponent, really creating a lot through the middle. This is a David vs Goliath kind of draw and all eyes will be on on how the current champions will play this out.







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