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The National (Scotland)
The National (Scotland)
Alison McConnell

Glasgow City 0 Brann 4: Hosts suffer heavy defeat in Champions League

It was difficult not to feel a pang of sympathy for the small voice that piped up from the Petershill stands; ‘Come on City, you can still do it!’

By that stage Glasgow City were 3-0 down, going on 13, and the only conviction of a turnaround came from those who still believe in Santa Clause and the tooth fairy.  By the time it went inevitably to four, there was only silence.  

The likelihood of a fairytale turnaround would appear to be little more than the work of a fertile imagination given just how lacklustre the reigning Scottish champions were against a Brann side who could have won by a wider margin on a night when City were insipid and defensively sloppy. 

City will be irked at the cheapness of the goals they conceded and the insipid manner in which they allowed Brann to exert control over the game, almost exclusively.

Brann looked aggressive and up for it from the opening stages as they posted immediate notice of their attacking intent. By the time the game had hit the five-minute mark they had a tangible lead to show for their efforts and from there on in there was a sense of the roof coming in on the reigning SWPL champions.

"The players know that first-half performance was nowhere near good enough,” lamented City manager Leanne Ross.  “The supporters came out in their numbers and we really let them down.

“I have had a few tough nights already in this post but, yeah, it is a difficult one to take,” said City manager Leanne Ross. “You just can’t start games like that and expect to take anything out of them.

“It was so disappointing. We gave ourselves a tough task. The intensity was improved in the second-half but you can’t behind games like that and let people run into your box. “The team has to respond. We now need more of the second-half performance next week. There was no surprise for us in how they played but we have given ourselves a mountain to climb.”

No sooner had Rakel Engesvik given the Norwegians the lead after Nyard had slipped the ball through a pedestrian City defence for the striker to collect before advancing to take the ball away from the advancing City keeper Lee Gibson and roll the ball over the line than there might have been another.

Amalie Eikeland, a handful from the get-go for City, drove to the byline before firing the ball across goal. Alexander collected but it was clear that Brann would not simply defend their lead.

With seven minutes of the opener they had added a killer second. A Brann corner was cleared off the line before falling to Linda Motlhalo’s header at the edge of the box. Her header was weak and fell straight to the feet of Kielland who allowed the ball to bounce before sending a rasping 20-yard effort well beyond the reach of Gibson.

The third was just as poor.  Again, City was slow to properly clear the danger as the ball pinged around the area. It fell to Engesvik on the edge of the box who lifted the ball over the head of Kenzie Weir before drilling a low effort into the bottom corner.

City threw on the experienced  Lauder after the break but by then the game was over. There was a fourth as the game headed to full-time as Marit Bratberg Lund as City prayed for the respite of the whistle.

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