Barcelona have one foot in the final of the Women’s Champions League after Kheira Hamraoui’s second half winner gave them a deserved 1-0 win at Bayern Munich in Sunday’s semi-final first leg.
Hamraoui, who won the tournament with Lyon last season, showed her class with a well-taken winner to give Barcelona a deserved lead and a one-goal advantage ahead of the second leg next week.
“We expected Barcelona to try to dominate possession and we defended reasonably well, but we could have got more from the game today,” said Bayern coach Thomas Woerle.
With both sides looking to make their first ever appearance in the final, the game proved to be a cagey affair for long periods.
Bayern had their backs to the wall for much of the first half, as Barcelona dominated possession.
Clear cut chances remained few and far between for the visitors, although they twice struck the woodwork with speculative efforts from both Vicky Losada and Hamraoui.
Bayern rallied shortly before half-time, with chances falling to Sara Daebritz and Fridolina Rolfoe.
The hosts continued to be pushed back after the break, however, and Barcelona finally unlocked the defence just after the hour mark.
A slick move on the right wing saw Mariona Caldentey set up Hamraoui, who found the far corner with a sharp finish. Daebritz came close to equalising for Bayern on 73 minutes, slaloming through the box before forcing a reflex save from Barcelona keeper Sandra Panos.
The Bayern striker then hit the bar with a late free-kick, but Barcelona held on to secure the win.
In the day’s other semi-final first leg, five-time winners Lyon defeated Chelsea 2-1.