Aivi Luik’s Hacken are the team to beat in their UEFA Women’s Champions League group after stunning Hayley Raso’s Real Madrid 2-1 on Friday (AEDT).
Hacken made it two wins from two games to top Group D ahead of Sam Kerr’s Chelsea after securing a memorable comeback victory over the Spanish visitors.
Katariina Kosola’s stunning strike 14 minutes from the end completed the fightback and led to wild scenes post-game as the Swedish side celebrated in front of a record-breaking crowd while heaping further misery on Raso’s Real Madrid, who suffered a crushing 5-0 loss to bitter rivals Barcelona in the El Clasico over the weekend.
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“We were very humble before the task we had, which was to win against Real Madrid,” said Hacken head coach Mak Lind after his side fell just short of the league title a couple of weeks ago.
“We lifted ourselves in the second half and I’m very, very happy. We prepared before this game to be pushing forward. We had challenges in our attack in the first half with our offensive positions.
“We looked at clips at half-time and changed that in the second half.”
Madrid, who started Matildas attacker Raso on the bench, looked on track for their first win of the campaign when Signe Bruun broke the deadlock inside nine minutes.
The visitors dominated the first half and also saw Olga Carmona hit the post.
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Hacken, though, took control after the break.
A team transformed, Rosa Kafaji equalised approaching the hour-mark before Kosola’s moment of brilliance settled the contest.
Hacken have already picked up more points than they managed in their only previous Champions League group-stage appearance in 2021-22, where they won one game and lost the other five.
“I was just thinking ‘now it’s time to go’. We had a lot of space there and good speed, and it was a really nice ball from Rosa (Kafaji),” said Kosola. “I’m not left-footed but I trust my left foot, and when it hit the back of the net it was amazing.
“It feels so good to score in a Champions League game, one of the highlights of my career so far.”
Meanwhile, Clare Hunt’s Paris Saint-Germain lost 1-0 at home to Bayern Munich in Group C.
Hunt played the entire game as the French side crashed to a second straight Champions League defeat.