Women's Champions League: BIIK-Kazygurt 3-0 Glasgow City

Glasgow City goalkeeper Lee Alexander
Glasgow City goalkeeper Lee Alexander lost three goals inside 10 second-half minutes

Glasgow City suffered a damaging first-leg defeat to BIIK-Kazygurt on their Champions League visit to Kazakhstan.

Following a gruelling 4200-mile trip, the visitors matched the full-time hosts in the opening 45 minutes.

However, BIIK-Kazygurt scored three goals in 10 minutes shortly after the interval and City could not find a reply despite some good pressure.

Begaim Kirgizbaeva, Kaelyn Korte and Gulnara Gabelia were on target for the home side.

It leaves Scott Booth's side facing last-32 stage elimination for the third year running.

The visitors were the better side for most of the encounter at the Namyz Stadium in Shymkent, but failed to score the away goal that would have made the second leg more salvageable.

Glasgow City head coach Scott Booth
Booth's team missed good chances to reduce the deficit in Kazakhstan

Conditions were cold and overcast, and the pitch heavy from overnight rain, when the game kicked off.

Republic of Ireland captain Katie McCabe nearly got City off to the perfect start with a curling left-foot shot which goalkeeper Alexandra Grebenyuk saved just under the crossbar.

The hosts came more into the game and Scotland goalkeeper Lee Alexander did well to smother the ball at the feet of Chinwendu Ihezuo, one of two Nigerians in the Kayzgurt team.

The stadium announcer knew where his loyalties lay, as he kept using the public address system to urge the crowd to give Kazygurt further support.

City missed a glorious chance midway through the half. Captain Leanne Ross delivered a free kick behind the defence, but central defender Lauren McMurchie just failed to reach the ball to divert it past Grebenyuk.

Set-pieces were proving City's most profitable routes to the home goal, and Ross came close with another free kick which flew just over.

Jo Love in action for Scotland
Glasgow City missed the experience of Scotland midfielder Jo Love - who couldn't get time off work

With the game finally starting to open out, Alexander made a terrific save from the speedy Ihezuo, tipping her close-range shot over. At the other end, Abbi Grant shot straight at Grebenyuk from a scoring position.

City were dealing with the tie comfortably, but then it all changed when they lost the first goal three minutes into the second half. A corner delivered from the left by Gabelia was scrambled over the line by Kirgizbaeva.

Worse was to follow six minutes later. This time a very good strike from 25 yards by Korte did the damage.

Unbelievably, given the pattern of the first half, Kazygurt went three up just before the hour. It was a poor goal for City to lose, with Gabelia punishing the visitors as she scored from a tight angle.

Kazygurt goalkeeper Grebenyuk made an excellent double save from Noelle Murray and Leanne Crichton after a clever free kick, again from Ross, unlocked the home defence.

The game ended in sunshine, but the outlook for City is gloomy with the second leg to follow in Glasgow next Thursday.

Post-match reaction

Glasgow City manager Scott Booth: "The frustrating thing, and why the players are disappointed, is because we made mistakes at the start of the second half. It was even at half-time and we felt really comfortable. But if you don't defend a corner and put your head on the ball you're going to put yourself in a difficult position.

"We gave the ball away just before the second goal, but I wouldn't have expected Korte to finish it as she did from 25 yards into the top corner. The third goal for me is probably the worst. But I totally believe we can score three against them at home."

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