Wednesday 5 October 2016, 19.30, Easter Road

The first leg in the UEFA Women’s Champions League Round of 32 with Hibs Ladies taking on Bayern Munich Ladies.

For the first time, Scotland have two representatives in the Champions League, with champions Glasgow City playing in Sweden the following night.

Since seeing Hibs Ladies winning in the Scottish Cup quarter final against Celtic, they have had three convincing league wins, and sit in second place.

Bayern Munich Ladies have been on the go since 1970 and won the league in 1976 for the first time.  They faded in the 1990s and were relegated in 1992.  They returned to the top league in 2000 and consolidated their place there for the rest of the decade, finishing second in 2009.  2012 saw them win the German Cup for the first time and they won the league in 2015 without losing a game.  They won the league again last season.

They have a star studded international team including five of the German team that won the Olympic Gold medal.  Scottish international Lisa Evans features in their midfield.

Bayern lost at this stage last season to Dutch side Twente on away goals and will be looking to go a lot further this season.

Although Hibs Ladies usually play their home games at Broxburn Athletic’s Albyn Park, this game was played at the home of the men’s side, Easter Road, and despite the game being live on BBC Alba, there were 2,551 in the ground, including a small but noisy contingent from Munich.

Evans won Bayern a corner in the 5th minute and the Hibs defence managed to scramble it behind.  The second corner, taken by Faisst was met by a thumping header from van der Gragt just outside the six-yard box and flew into the net past a helpless Fife in the Hibs goal to give the Germans an early lead.

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The early goal seemed to settle Bayern and they started knocking the ball about with purpose.

Evans, who was seeing a lot of the ball down the right, released Schnaderbeck down the right in 11 minutes and she put a great deep cross into the box.  Miedema rose well and headed goalwards, but the ball came off the back of Murray’s head, and was easy for Fife to claim.

It took Hibs 15 minutes to get a glimpse of the Bayern goal. Harrison not connecting fully with a half volley from the edge of the box.

An unusual moment in 18 minutes when Munich captain Behringer went to take a corner and got help from the lineswoman to fix her captain’s armband.  Van der Gragt met the corner again, but this time, her header was too high.

Some lovely footwork by Evans in the Hibs box saw her play in Dabritz, but her cutback eluded Lewandowski, and Hibs managed to clear.

Hibs were struggling to cope with the height of the Germans, and another Behringer corner in 21 minutes found van der Gragt’s head again, but went to the other side of the box where it was played back across goal by Dabritz. Van der Gragt was there again and saw her header crash back off the bar.  Miedema was first to react, but headed over the top.

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Almost a disaster for Hibs in 22 minutes when Fife misjudged a bouncing ball into the box and it bounced over her head.  Miedema collected the ball but Murray got back to clear on the line.

A good run forward by the lively Arnot in 25 minutes gave Hibs some respite and with little support, she shot for goal from 25 yards.  It was well hit, but it was a comfortable save for Korpela.

Schnaderbeck managed to get a foot in to dispossess Robertson just inside the Hibs half in 26 minutes and Dabritz played a clever ball through the defence for Miedema, who finished high into the net to double the lead.

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In 38 minutes, Behringer tried a shot following a Bayern corner which was blocked and fell to Faisst near the corner flag.  Her cross was headed high into the net at the near post by Leupolz to make it three.

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As the half time whistle blew, it was clear to see how good a side Bayern were.

Edinburgh author Doug Johnstone and most of the Hearts Ladies team were in attendance at the game, as well as several of Hibs men’s first team.

In 50 minutes, Lewandowski found Miedema running into the box on the left.  She got to the by-line, but Graham raced over to block her ball across goal.

Faisst went down the left for Bayern in 55 minutes and found Dabritz in the box.  She turned well to escape the challenge of Robertson, but hit the side net with her shot.

Bayern continued to press and Leupolz picked out Evans on the right in 56 minutes. She sprinted past Smith to get to the by-line and found Miedema in the six-yard box for an easy finish and Bayern’s fourth.

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A Behringer corner in 63 minutes found the head of Leupolz and her downward header looked to be going in, but Williamson on the post got a foot to it and it came off the bar.  Faisst got a foot to it and the ball came back to Leupolz who fired high into the net for Bayern’s fifth.

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Some lovely build up play by the Germans in 66 minutes ended with Evans passing to Dabritz on the edge of the box.  Her shot was parried by Fife but Rosler raced in to tap the ball home, however Fife managed to block the ball with her legs.  The resultant corner fell to van der Gragt in the box and her shot hit the arm of Graham and the referee gave a penalty.  Very harsh, as the Hibs defender had her back to goal when the ball hit her.  Behringer stepped up and sent the ball into the net via a post.

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Rosler raced down the right for Bayern in 73 minutes and ran into the box before squaring for Gerhardt, but Fife made a fine reaction save.

Rosler was involved again in 82 minutes when she collected a Lewandowski throw and dribbled into the box where she was caught by Brownlie, who had come on as sub seconds before, for another Bayern penalty.  Rosler took the penalty herself, but crashed the ball off the bar.

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Good play down the left by Gerhardt in 86 minutes, after receiving the ball from Falknor, saw her cross to the front post and find the head of Rosler, but her back header was too high.

More good play by the Germans in the 93rd minute saw Evans play the ball to the feet of Falknor, who played Rosler through on goal and with Evans screaming for a pass which would have left her with a tap in, Rosler went for goal and Fife saved her effort.

A tough night for Hibs who were completely outclassed by their opponents.  They never gave up though and despite conceding six goals, the defenders in particular can be proud of their efforts.  Arnot looked best going forward for them, showing some nice touches.

You couldn’t fail to be impressed with Bayern who played with power and pace and lots of skill.  All of the team looked good on the ball and their passing and movement was on a different level.  Leupolz, Evans and Behringer were best for me, although you could make an argument for any outfield player.

Hibs are the second best ladies team in Scotland and although the women’s game is on the up, there is a fair bit to go to reach the level of the top European sides.   It was good to see that one of Bayern’s best players was Scottish.

Full Time: Hibs Ladies 0 Bayern Munich Ladies 6

Admission: £7

Hibernian Ladies: 1 Jenna Fife, 2 Clare Willamson (Brownlie 82), 17 Joelle Murray, 4 Siobhan Hunter, 11 Kirsty Smith, 12 Rachel McLauchlan, 13 Lucy Graham, 6 Lisa Robertson, 7 Lizzie Arnot, 19 Chelsea Cornet (Small 69), 21 Abi Harrison (Ewens 69). Subs: 31 Kirsty Jeffries, 8 Cailin Michie, 9 Caroline Heron, 10 Sarah Ewens, 16 Ellis Notley, 23 Rachael Small, 24 Emma Brownlie.

Bayern Munich Ladies: 32 Tinja-Riika Korpela, 2 Gina Lewandowski, 3 Stefanie van der Gragt, 7 Melanie Behringer, 8 Melanie Leupolz, 10 Vivianne Miedema (Rosler 65), 15 Nora Berge Holstad, 18 Lisa Evans, 22 Verena Faisst (Gerhardt 65), 25 Viktoria Schnaderbeck, 33 Sara Dabritz (Falknor 76). Subs: 31 Manuela Zinsberger, 5 Caroline Abbe, 16 Claire Falknor, 19 Carina Wenniger, 20 Leonie Maier, 27 Anna Gerhardt, 29 Nicole Rolser.

Referee: Esther Staubli (Switzerland)

Programme: Existed, but they were all gone when I arrived.

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