Arsenal, the semifinalist in the UEFA Women’s Champions League last season, was stunned by Paris FC, as it lost to the French side 2-4 in penalties, after 3-3 in regulation time, in the UWCL qualifier on Saturday.
Paris FC’s goalkeeper Chaimaka Nnadozie was the star of the game, making two crucial saves in the shootout, denying the NWSL giant from progressing into the second round of the UWCL this season.
Nnadozie is enjoying a purple patch ever since shining on the global stage with Nigeria in the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand this year. Having led the Super Falcons against Canada, she had also saved a spot-kick by Canadian soccer legend, Christine Sinclair.
Alessia Russo scored a brace while Jennifer Beattie scored another for the Gunners, which included Russo’s late equaliser, forcing the match into penalties. Russo, who finished as the runner-up in the Women’s World Cup, had contrasting fate in the same game, as she was one of the two Arsenal women to miss the penalty in the shootout, with the other being Frida Maanum.
Paris FC, on the other hand, saw French forward Mathilde Bourdieu score twice and Louise Fleury score once as the French team pulled off one of the biggest upsets even before the start of the Champions League this season.