Matilda the hero on another historic European night for her club: ‘It is gigantic’

Larissa Crummer scored her first ever UEFA Women’s Champions League goal and it proved to be the winner as SK Brann defeated Slavia Prague 1-0.

Brann are making their group-stage debut in the Champions League – in the 22 years of the women’s competition, they are the first team from Norway to feature at this stage and after making the occasion with a maiden victory on matchday one, they were at it again on Thursday (AEDT).

In front of more than 8,000 home fans for their first home match, Matildas forward Crummer headed home the winning goal in the 21st minute to ensure Brann made it two wins from two games to sit level atop Group B with Ellie Carpenter’s Lyon.

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Brann bossed possession and their Australia international proved decisive as she rose highest to break the deadlock against the Czech visitors.

It was her first ever Champions League group-stage goal, having found the back of the net in the qualifying round in September, while it was her fifth goal across all competitions this season.

 ”It was quite tough with the wet conditions and the heavy field,” she said via UEFA post-match.

“It was a bit of a grind the last 30 minutes. But we worked hard as a team and that’s what got us through.”

Brann did have to weather a late storm from Slavia in a dramatic finish to the match.

There was a shout for a penalty after 70 minutes after Brann goalkeeper Aurora Mikalsen tried to clean up a loose ball.

“Brann are lucky there,” said TV2 expert Solveig Gulbrandsen.

Slavia also earned a free-kick in a dangerous area during stoppage time, but it went over the crossbar.

“This is a long step towards second place. It is incredibly important. You can see how smooth it can be. Brann were good at the start, but fell apart,” said TV2’s Ingrid Ryland.

“Winning on a slightly weak day also says something. It was smoother than expected. It is gigantic that Brann wins this after those final minutes.”

Elsewhere in the group, European powerhouse Lyon saw off St Polten 2-0 to preserve their perfect record.

Matildas star Carpenter completed the full 90 minutes as French champions Lyon – the record eight-time Champions League winners – cruised to yet another victory.

Lyon are now unbeaten in 19 matches across all competitions – winning 18 and drawing one – since losing to Sam Kerr’s Chelsea in the opening leg of last season’s quarter-final tie.

This season, they have won all 11 of their competitive fixtures.

“We’ve got a lot of confidence. We might not have gotten off to the best start but we really applied ourselves in the second half,” Carpenter said via UEFA.

“With match after match, we’ve got to stay confident, stick to our gameplan, and keep our heads up.

“We knew they’d sit in a block, so there’d be space on the outside. Me and Kadia [Diani] really exploited their left side, and that was missing in the first half.”

Lyon dominated from the outset and tallied 35 shots to St Polten’s four throughout the 90 minutes, while they had 65% possession and attempted 633 passes.

But they were not satisfied with the performance against St Polten, who had Australian midfielder Ella Mastrantonio come off the bench during the final 14 minutes.

“We’ve got the win. To be fair, we could have played better, but this is a time of the year where the games are coming thick and fast. There’s a bit of fatigue, but tonight only the win is important,” Player of the Match Selma Bacha told