Arsenal to face Ajax in UEFA Women´s Champions League qualifier by Michelle
The Gunners have been drawn against AFC Ajax in the round 2 qualifiers of the UEFA Women’s Champions League.
Ajax were last in the Women’s Champions League action in 2020/21, where they were knocked out by Bayern Munich in the Round of 32. Their best result in the competition so far came in 2018/19, when they reached the Round of 16. This marks the first time Arsenal have met the Dutch side in all competitions.
Ajax came through their knockout round in Round 1, beating Kristianstads DFF in the semi-final and then beating Eintracht Frankfurt with an injury time winner in the final.
Ajax have a young team, with a number of good players coming through the ranks of the Netherlands’ national team. Romée Leuchter and Victoria Pelova featured at the last Euros, while Chastity Grant, a scorer in the semi-final of the first qualifying round, has also made her debut for the national team. Sherida Spitse, a mainstay of the national team, adds experience in midfield.
In last season’s UWCL, Arsenal made it to the quarter-final stage after finishing second in their group behind eventual finalists, Barcelona. Arsenal held Wolfsburg to a 1-1 draw at the Emirates Stadium, with Lotte Wubben-Moy scoring a fantastic equaliser in the 89th minute. Unfortunately, in the away leg, we lost 2-0 to the German champions.
Arsenal Women’s path to the group stage
This year’s round 2 qualifiers consist of two legs, home and away. The first leg against AFC Ajax will take place at home at Meadow Park on September 20/21, before Arsenal Women head to Amsterdam the following week for the second leg on September 28/29.
Should Arsenal make it through the playoff, all 3 of the Gunners’ home UEFA Women´s Champions League group games will be played at the Emirates Stadium.
Alongside Arsenal´s clash with Ajax, 22 other teams will battle it out to progress further in the competition. These knockout matches will decide which 12 teams will join automatic qualifiers Lyon, Barcelona, Wolfsburg, and Chelsea in the group stage of the tournament in October.
The draw in full
Tie 1: Vorskla-Kharkiv 2 v KFF Vllaznia
Tie 2: SFK 2000 Sarajevo v FC Zurich
Tie 3: Rangers FC v Benfica SL
Tie 4: KuPS Kuopio v SK St. Polten
Tie 5: Valur v SK Slavia Praha
Tie 6: SK Brann v FC Rosengard
Tie 7: HB Koge v Juventus
Tie 1: Arsenal v AFC Ajax
Tie 2: PSG v BK Hacken
Tie 3: Real Sociedad v Bayern Munich
Tie 4: Rosenborg BK v Real Madrid
Tie 5: AC Sparta Praha v A.S. Roma
The rest of the tournament
Should we win our two legs against Ajax to progress to the UWCL group stage, our group matches will commence in October 19/20 and hopefully we’ll go all the way to the Final in June.
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