Guest Author - Alice Jones
UEFA CUP Semi Finals.
The path to the UEFA Cup final is drawing towards a thrilling finish.
UEFA Champions Arsenal were knocked out in the Quarter Finals, whilst Bardolina Verona reach the last four for the first time, joining Olympique Lyonnais and former winners 1.FFC Frankfurt in the Semi - Finals. Who will win it this year?
The Women's UEFA CUP Semi Finals have drawn up some exciting ties for the final round of four. The fixtures begin on Saturday 29th March 2008.
Germany's Frankfurt FFC, twice winners of the Competition, will play Bardolino Verona of Italy. 31 year old Alessia Tuttino had scored twice in the Quarter final against Bromby FC, to put her team in the last four of the competition for the first time in their history.
Bardolino Verona are possibly the most in form team, after going 7 points clear at the top of the Serie A last weekend, beating Torino ACF in a convincing 4-0 victory. Melania Gabbiadini scored twice for the League Leaders, while Alessia Tuttino and Raffaella Manier completed the route. The victory sets them up nicely for the trip to Frankfurt, where they will no doubt be full of confidence and ready for the challenge.
"We played a very good game, especially in the first half," coach Renato Longega said on Bardolino's official club website.
"Now we have done what we had to do in the domestic league and can start preparing for the game in Frankfurt. I think we are in good form."
Frankfurt will be very much up for the challenge, and should never be underestimated, or at Verona's peril. These European giants are no strangers to the competition, having won it it in 2006 and 2002, they will want their UEFA Crown back.
Olympic Lyonnais ladies team are the last of the French representatives in all UEFA Competitions this year, having knocked out last years winners the English Premier League Champions Arsenal in their Quarter Final game.
The Four times, French Champions go on to play Swedish side Umea IK, last years beaten finalists. Umea will be hoping to reach the final again and make amends for last seasons hurt. They eased past FCL Rapide Wezemaal beating them 10-0 on aggregate in the Quarter - Finals last November, convincing their fans that they mean business.
It promises to be an exciting few weeks as the road to the final is paved with possibilities.
UEFA CUP Semi Finals draw.
1. FFC Frankfurt v Bardolino Verona.
Olympique Lyonnais v Umea IK.
You can follow the results on the football forums and on the UEFA official website.