GLASGOW City made short work of beating Ukrainian champions FC Zhilstroy to convincingly book their place in the last 32 of the Uefa Women’s Champions League.
Glasgow City - 4, O’Sullivan (9, 63) Love (17), Brown (57)
FC Zhilstroy - 0
The outcome was never in doubt once Denise O’Sullivan had given the home side an early lead. Eddie Wolecki’s side were by far the best team in the qualifying group and sauntered through the game even without injured Scotland internationalists Leanne Ross and Suzanne Lappin.
“Zhilstroy relied on the same group of players for three games in six days and that is tough,” said City coach Eddie Wolecki Black, whose decision to send out virtually a reserve team against Glentoran was vindicated. “We were fresh and able to set the tempo of the game high.
“Qualifying for a fourth successive season is a tremendous achievement. We’re going to go in to next week’s match as 13th seeds, so once again we’ll avoid any of the big hitters in the last 32.”
It didn’t take long to establish that City were by far the more accomplished side and they went ahead after just nine minutes. Fiona Brown and Jo Love combined well to set up a chance for Leanne Crichton, but even so her low side-footed shot should have been saved by Zhilstroy captain Iryna Sanina.
Instead, the goalkeeper spilled the ball and as she floundered Denise O’Sullivan stepped in to accept the gift. The early goal completely changed the complexion of the tie, but it became apparent that Zhilstroy, who needed just to draw to reach the last 32, didn’t have a Plan B either.
The Ukrainians had little about them to suggest why they had won their opening two group games easily.
Their lethargic afternoon got even worse when Brown provided the cross for Love to beat Sanina with a downward header.
As in the opening two games, the standard of City’s crisp, fast moving outfield play was far superior to anything their opponents could muster, even if further goals didn’t arrive until the second half.
The third, a stunning individualistic goal by Brown, was worth waiting for.
The 19-year-old cut in from the right and then struck a fierce left footed shot past Sanina from 20 yards.
City made it four just before the hour mark and again Brown was involved in the build up. She knocked Abbi Grant’s cross into the path of O’Sullivan, who scored her second from close range.