Madrid, Aug 22 (IANS) An 81st-minute goal from Barcelona’s French international midfielder Pernille Mosgaard-Harder was enough to help her side qualify for the semi-final of the Women’s Champions League with a 1-0 win against Atletico Madrid in Athletic Club Bilbao’s San Mames Stadium.
Barca deserved the win, but they were made to work hard on Friday by an Atletico side missing five first-team players because of the coronavirus, reports Xinhua news agency.
In many ways, the first half was similar to a game between the two clubs’ respective men’s teams, with Barcelona looking to control the ball, but failing to create clear chances against a well-drilled Atletico midfield and defense.
Although Barca looked to move the ball across the pitch, the lack of speed in their moves made it relatively easy for Atletico to keep their shape.
Atletico keeper Hedvig Lindahl got an important hand to a cross in the 13th minute after Lieke Martens whipped in a dangerous cross, while at the other end Kylie Strom slashed the ball wide from a narrow-angle.
Barca’s best chance came just after the half-hour after Alexia Putellas fired just wide following a corner.
The second half began much like the first, but slowly Barca began to get on top and carve out chances only to be frustrated by Lindahl, who kept out Oshola, who had been filtered through by Jenny Hermoso.
It looked as if a goal was about to come and it arrived 10 minutes from time when Hansen’s cross from the right fell kindly to Kheira Hamraoui, who swept home with her right foot from inside the Atletico penalty area.
Atletico, who only travelled with 14 first-team players in their squad, were unable to respond and Hermoso was closer to a second goal for Barca than Atletico were to an equaliser.