The Rossonere's journey in the Women's Champions League comes to an end. After the win against Zurich, Hoffenheim won 2-0 in the final of the first qualifying round thanks to goals from Brand in the first half and Hartig in the second half. Lots to regret but little to complain about from Ganz's warriors, who gave everything on the pitch at the Letzigrund Stadion. The experience and superior quality of the opponents won the match for Hoffenheim, who showed their strength at the right moments. Our girls did not lack the desire and the sacrifice to give their all, but it proved too difficult to create dangerous chances.
A pity, as the dream realised last year is ended, but the new season has just begun and will be full of important commitments; above all a new championship to be experienced as protagonists, as always. The first experience in Europe will remain in the memory of the AC Milan women, who will use it as a useful experience to grow and improve right away. Now it's time for Serie A, as on the horizon, on Sunday 29 August at 17:30 CEST at Vismara, the girls open their campaign against Hellas Verona. Go forth with confidence.
THE GALLERY FROM HOFFENHEIM v AC MILAN
Codina was the only new addition to the line-up compared to the team fielded in Zurich. Hoffenheim managed possession and began to push forward, but the first opportunity fell for Thomas in the 16th minute with a double shot, first blocked down and then saved by Tufekovic. The Rossonere came forward again on 19 minutes with a good move, and Thrige thought she had scored only for the goal to be ruled out for an offside call on Giacinti. In the 22nd minute 'Vero did well to set up Thomas, who unfortunately overran the ball and it was swept up by the outrushing goalkeeper. The opponents returned with their own attacks, as Dongus tried from distance in the 28th minute, her shot going over. The match was unlocked in the 37th minute thanks to Brand's goal, who had an easy finish just a few feet from goal. Trouble came in the following seconds, with Giuliani being forced into a double save in order not to worsen the scoreline. There was time before the end of the half for a shot by Giacinti that was blocked by Tufekovic.
The match restarted without any changes. There was less speed and less excitement at the start of the second half, and the Germans struck again in the 59th minute after a dangerous cross from Billa and a precise header from Hartig in the middle of the box. The Diavolo tried switching things up and brought on Grimshaw, Tucceri Cimini, and Stapelfeldt. In fact, the fixture was already over, as any noteworthy offensive actions were very rare. AC Milan did not give up but could not manage to react in a concrete way, with the only chances to report being a couple of inaccurate headers by Thomas in the 68th minute and Codina in the 80th minute. There was also time for a European debut for Longo, but the scoreline would not change. Final whistle.
HOFFENHEIM 2-0 AC MILAN
HOFFENHEIM (4-5-1): Tufekovic; Wienroither, Bühler (84' Kocsán), Feldkamp, Naschenweng; Linder (77' Steinert), Hartig (77' Hagel), Dongus (15'st Harsch), Corley (84' De Caigny), Brand; Billa. Subs.: Dick, Von Schrader; Degen; Leimenstoll. Coach.: Gallai.
AC MILAN (3-4-2-1): Giuliani; Fusetti (63' Grimshaw), Agard, Codina Panedas; Thrige (73' Stapelfeldt), Jane, Adami (88' Longo), Bergamaschi; Vero (63' Tucceri Cimini), Thomas; Giacinti. Subs.: Cazzioli, Korenčiová; Árnadóttir, Kirschstein, Rizza; Cortesi, Miotto. Coach.: Ganz.
Referee: Rasa Imanalijeva (Lithuania).
Goals: 37' Brand (H), 59' Hartig (H).
Bookings: 53' Wienroither (H), 76' Jane (M).
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