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Barcelona, PSG win their away matches in first leg of Women's Champions League quarterfinals

Paris Saint-Germain celebrates Paris Saint-Germain celebrates - The Canadian Press

LONDON (AP) — Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain scored second-half winners in their away victories in the first leg of the Women’s Champions League quarterfinals on Wednesday.

Defending champion Barcelona defeated Norwegian team Brann 2-1, while PSG earlier beat Swedish club Häcken by the same score.

Salma Paralluelo gave Barcelona the win with a low left-footed shot from inside the area in the 72nd minute for her competition-leading sixth goal this season.

Caroline Graham Hansen, a Norway international, had put the titleholders ahead with a deflected shot less than 10 minutes into the match.

“Away games in the Champions League quarterfinals are never easy. Even if people beforehand were saying differently, we knew that was not going to be the case. We knew it was going to be difficult,” Graham Hansen said. "It’s a deserved win, even if we should have scored more. Now we have to go back to Barcelona and finish the job there.”

Cecilie Kvamme equalized for the hosts from a tight angle in the 39th.

“We stuck together for 90 minutes and I’m proud of us," Kvamme said. "I’m really happy we are still in it, now we have to prepare and do our best next week.”

On Tuesday in the other quarterfinals, favorites Lyon and Chelsea also earned first-leg wins on the road. Record eight-time champion Lyon came from behind to beat Benfica 2-1, while Chelsea defeated Ajax 3-0 to move closer to a second straight appearance in the last four of Europe’s top competition.

PSG defeated Häcken in Gothenburg with a 74th-minute winner by Tabitha Chawinga.

“Offensively, I’m a little disappointed," PSG coach Jocelyn Precheur said. "We can show a better side to ourselves, especially in our stadium in Paris.”

Eva Gaetino had opened the scoring for PSG in the 23rd with her first professional goal, and Rosa Kafaji equalized for the hosts in the 42nd off the rebound of her own missed penalty kick.

“We are disappointed but there were many things we did pretty well in the game,” Häcken coach Mak Lind said. "It was good for us to experience this game, and it’s only the first half out of two. There’s one more game to play and we have a chance, for sure.”

The second legs for both series involving PSG and Barcelona will take place next Thursday. Chelsea and Lyon will play their second legs on Wednesday.


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