UEFA Women’s Champions League group stage preview: Häcken vs Lyon | UEFA Women’s Champions League
Swedish champions Häcken, who won their first Damallsvenskan title in 2020, face the intimidating prospect of the most decorated club in UEFA Women’s Champions League history in their Group D opener.
The Gothenburg-based team, then known as Gothenburg, reached the quarter-finals of this competition in successive seasons (2011/12 and 2012/13) and will look to improve their round of 16 outings over the course of of the last two tournaments.
The Getingarna, who added the Svenska Cupen 2020/21 to their trophy cabinet in May, have secured their place in this first group stage thanks to a 6-3 loss in the second qualifying round overall to the Norwegian title holder by Toppserien Vålerenga.
Lyon, the most successful team in the history of this competition, aim to find their way back to victory after five years of reign as the UEFA Women’s Champions League defending champion finished in the quarter-finals last season.
The Lyonnaises were eliminated on away goals in the last eight games of last season, following a 2-2 draw overall against Paris (1-0 a, 1-2 h). Jean Luc Vasseur’s side held a two-goal lead through the draw thanks to a penalty from Wendie Renard in the first leg and an early strike from Catarina Macario in the second leg, but the Parisians retaliated with a strike from Grace Geyoro and a goal against his camp from the unfortunate Renard.
Lyon’s 14-year-old grip on their national championship was also halted by the French capital’s team in 2020/21, who won their first top-level silver medal by finishing one point behind finalist Les Fenottes .
OL coach Sonia Bompastor, who took over in April 2021, successfully guided her charges through the second round of qualifying with a pair of 2-1 wins, securing a 4-2 aggregate victory against Levante, who finished third in the Primera División in the 2020/21 campaign. The 2-1 advantage in the first leg on September 1 allowed Lyon to maintain their enviable record of winning their first continental match in each of their 15 seasons in European competition.
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To watch – Häcken
The 25-year-old striker started her top flight career with Linköpings, winning the Damallsvenskan Trophy in 2016 with two Svenska Cupens, after joining Vadstena GIF in 2013.
The Swedish international spent two years in France with Montpellier (2017-19), where she finished second in Women’s Division 1 behind today’s opponents Lyon in her debut campaign with La Paillade. She returned for a second spell with Linköpings in 2019, before joining Häcken in time for the 2020 season.
The striker’s six goals propelled Sweden to UEFA Women’s Under-19 Championship glory in Israel in 2015, and secured her the Golden Boot award of the tournament. She was also part of the Swedish senior squad which finished third in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
She has already scored more league goals so far this quarter than she managed in 2020, and is the division’s top scorer so far this campaign with 14 goals scoring two hat tricks in course.
The 27-year-old, who has been with the club since 2016, ended Häcken’s successful campaign in 2020 as the league’s top scorer with 12 goals. Only Anna Anvegård (16) of FC Rosengård scored more division goals last season.
The forward won her first Swedish top-flight title in 2012 with the first senior team Tyresö FF.
The Swedish international represented their country at the 2017 UEFA Women’s EURO as they were eliminated in the quarter-finals. However, she was part of the Under-19 squad which was crowned European champion in 2012 and won silver at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.
She played ice hockey on a boys’ team until the age of 15, when a concussion and a broken arm forced her to focus on soccer.
Johanna rytting kaneryd
A midfielder who can also play at the back, she joined Häcken from FC Rosengård in December 2020. She was part of her new team’s goals, including one in the 3-2 home victory in the second round against Vålerenga on September 8.
She spent 3 seasons with Rosengård but missed the entire 2018 campaign with a knee ligament injury suffered shortly after signing for club Djurgårdens IF.
At 17, she was an unused replacement for Tyresö FF – her first club – when they lost 4-3 in the UEFA Women’s Champions League final to Wolfsburg in Lisbon in May 2014.
Selected at various junior levels by Sweden, she made her senior international debut earlier this year.
To watch – Lyon
The 23-year-old joined Lyon from Paris, their scourge of last season, along with teammate Christiane Endler this summer.
Double Danish champion with first club Fortuna Hjørring, she scored seven goals as the Parisiennes won their first Women’s Division 1 title last season, after a 2019/20 campaign hit by injuries where she did not. championship contested.
The Danish international opened her goalscoring account for Lyon in style, scoring a hat-trick after being a halftime substitute in the 6-0 win over Dijon on September 12.
The forward matched the best of a competitive qualification scoring eight goals in the 11-0 UEFA European Women’s Under-17 Championship preliminary win over Kazakhstan in October 2014, tying the record set by the Dutch Vivianne Miedema against the same opposition two years earlier.
Chilean goalkeeper Endler joined Lyon this summer after a successful four-year stint at Paris Saint-Germain.
Endler, 30, is widely regarded by many as one of the best goalkeepers in world football and her 13-year senior career to date has been filled with accolades and honors.
Endler, who has 69 international caps for Chile, captained his country at the Tokyo Olympics in the summer of 2021 and adds inspiring leadership and world-class skills to this Lyon side.
The 31-year-old has been with Lyon since 2006 and celebrated her 400th appearance for the club on September 12 with a 6-0 success against Dijon, but missed the last two league games due to a minor injury suffered while ‘she was on international duty.
The France international, who has won 126 caps for her country, has made more UEFA Women’s Champions League appearances than any other player and is five games away from her century in the competition.
She is one of three players to have won a medal winner out of Lyon’s seven record victories in this competition, along with Sarah Bouhaddi and Eugénie Le Sommer.
The central defender appeared in Lyon’s nine finals in this tournament, with only Bouhaddi able to match this feat.
• Häcken previously competed as Göteborg, which reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Women’s Champions League in 2012 and 2013
• Häcken secured her place in the 2021/22 UEFA Women’s Champions League group stage with a 6-3 aggregate victory over Norwegian club Vålerenga. Swedish international striker Stina Blackstenius scored in both parts of the draw
• Häcken have scored three goals in each of their previous two UEFA Women’s Champions League appearances this season
• Lyon have lost just one of their last 34 UEFA Women’s Champions League games
• Lyon have scored in 26 consecutive UEFA Women’s Champions League appearances. The last time they failed to score in the competition was in April 2018 against Man. City (D 0-0)
• Lyon haven’t conceded a goal in their last three away matches in the UEFA Women’s Champions League in Sweden (0-0, 0-0, 3-0)
• Lyon beat FC Rosengård 3-0 in their last UEFA Women’s Champions League game in Sweden (quarter-final 2013, second leg)
• Lyon are the only team to have made more than 100 appearances in the UEFA Women’s Champions League, this is their 113th game in the competition
• Lyonnaise Ada Hegerberg, back in training after a long injury, is the top scorer in UEFA Women’s Champions League history with 53 goals.
• Lyonnaise Wendie Renard has made more appearances than any other player in the UEFA Women’s Champions League, if she plays here it will be her 96th appearance
Group stage: everything you need to know