By: Hibernian Media on 11 Sep, 2019 23:35
Hibernian gave a good account of themselves, but ultimately face a tough task in the second leg of the UEFA Women’s Champions League as Grant Scott’s side fell to a 4-1 defeat at Easter Road Stadium.
The hosts went toe to toe with their Czech opponents but are left to overcome a three-goal deficit in Prague later this month.
It was the perfect start as Siobhan Hunter opened the scoring.
She notched her sixth goal in three games as Rachael Boyle’s sent a corner into the box which eventually fell to Hunter who did not hesitate to smash it into the net after just two minutes on the clock.
Slavia Praha tried to answer back quickly but failed to capitalise on two decent opportunities inside the opening twenty minutes.
Mia Persson received the first yellow of the match for a high boot in the 25th minute and Amy Gallacher was next in the 29th minute after a late challenge on Deneisha Blackwood.
Only one minute had elapsed before Slavia’s captain Diana Bartovičová’s name was also taken for a late challenge on Gallacher, with the game becoming a bit scrappy as the teams both struggled with each other for supremacy.
Eventually, Slavia gained a stronger foothold in the game, but Hibernian were able to withstand the pressure put on them by last season’s Quarter-Finalists. However, the home side’s defence was finally broken in the 36th with a fine finish from Slavia’s Teresa Kožárová.
Slavia then took the lead shortly after in the 40th minute when the ball fell to Kožárová who put it beyond Jenna Fife in the Hibs net from close range.
The pick of the bunch came in the 42nd minute when Slavia’s Andrea Jarchovska let fly from 25 yards out, with the right back’s effort both powerful and precise to beat Fife.
Unfazed by the three goals in quick succession, Scott’s side began the second half with just as much intensity seen after the first whistle.
Hibernian had a chance to pull one back in the 66th minute. Taken from a dangerous position outside the area, Boyle’s free kick is cleared out as Ellis Notley hit the ball first time but it flew wide of goal.
Slavia got their fourth in the 75th minute and Kožárová completed her hat-trick.
Hunter done well initially to block the effort from the striker, but Kožárová remained alert to get to the rebound and finished high past Fife from ten yards out.
Hibernian nearly pulled one back in the 79th minute. Gallacher struck a ball over the top perfectly towards goal on the half-volley but it was met with a fantastic save by Olivie Lukášová who palmed it just over the crossbar.
In the end it proved to be a comfortable victory for SK Slavia Praha who leave Hibernian a tough challenge ahead in the second leg, but Grant Scott’s side gave a good account of themselves against a side with a remarkable recent pedigree in the UEFA Women’s Champions League.
Hibernian: Fife, Notley (Leishman, 82), Hunter, Murray, Michie, Boyle, Cornet, McGregor (Higgins, 82), Gallacher, Cavanagh (Davidson, 61), Napier. Unused substitutes: Fisher, Tweedie.
Slavia Praha: Lukasova, Pincova, Khyrova (Vesela, 82), Necidova, Persson, Blackwood, Divisova (Szewieczkova, 70), Bartovicova, Svitkova, Jarchovska, Kožárová (Cerna, 88). Unused substitutes: Votikova, Sedlackova, Dedinova, Krejcirikova.
Referee: Marta Huerta de Aza.
Report: Struan Garvie.
Image: Craig Doyle/Hibernian Ladies.