Champions League qualifying: Shelbourne Ladies open with draw

Only the group winners will advance to the knockout stages of the Champions League

Rebecca Creagh  competes for a header during Shelbourne’s 0-0 draw on Tuesday evening.

Rebecca Creagh competes for a header during Shelbourne’s 0-0 draw on Tuesday evening.

 

Shelbourne Ladies 0-0 Medyk Konin

Shelbourne Ladies made a good start to their Uefa Women’s Champions League qualifying group as they held on to secure a point against Medyk Konin.

The National League champions started with a strong line-up against their fancied Polish opponents in Seaview in Belfast, as they looked to make the best possible start to a round of qualifying that consists of three games in a week.

Mark Leavy’s team had Seana Cooke sent off and saw Medyk Konin’s Kystyna Sikora blast a penalty kick over the crossbar late on, but they held on for their point. Next they play PK-35 Vantaa of Finland and tournament hosts Linfield.

Only the group winners will advance to the knock-out stages of the Champions League, and Shels remain in that mix.

With the talented Roma McLaughlin paired alongside the experienced duo of Pearl Slattery and Rachel Graham in midfield, the Dublin outfit were competitive throughout. American Gloria Douglas used her pace to stretch the opposition, and she set up McLaughlin for the Dublin side’s best chance of the game. But Medyk Konin goalkeeper Emily Dolan palmed it away.

The introduction of Alex Kavanagh and Rebecca Creagh added more bite to Shels’ play, although they suffered a setback when Cooke was shown a straight red card for a handball. But the penalty was blazed over the bar.

Shelbourne Ladies: McQuillan; Cooke, Finn, Ruddy, Prior; Slattery, Graham (Craven 68), McLaughlin; Killeen, Kiernan (Kavanagh 45), Douglas (Creagh 82).

Medyk Konin: Dolan; Dudok, Kaletka (Balcerazk 64), Slavchenka, Chudzik; Gawroriska (Kindzierski 45), Pakulska, Casidee, Ficzay; Kostova, Sikora.

Referee: Sofia Karagiorgia (Cyprus).

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