GLASGOW City look set to reach the last 16 of the Women's Champions League for the first time in four attempts under Scott Booth following a decisive away win at the Tsirion Stadium in Limassol.

Although annoyed that captain Leanne Ross had been sent off in controversial circumstances midway through the second half, the City head coach was delighted with his side's performance. Curiously the home captain, Rita Akaffou, also received her marching orders from Latvian referee Viola Raudzina, this time in the first half.

“The girls were great – really professional,” Booth said. “They had a lot thrown at them because there were some really poor challenges in there.

“Leanne's sending off was extremely harsh. I don't think it would have happened had Somatio not already had a player sent off.

“That put us under a bit of pressure, but again the girls handled it well.”

Booth's decision to give Hayley Lauder her first start following the calf injury which kept her out of the group qualifiers, d Scotland's games against Switzerland and Albania, took just three minutes to pay off. The midfielder scored from close in following a low Abbi Grant cross.

Although Somatio responded strongly, Grant was a constant problem for the home defence. She caused Akaffou to commit her first yellow card offence after the half hour and was again involved in the holding midfielder's dismissal before the interval.

In between the two events Grant, who in the morning had been named SBS SWPL player-of-the-month, came close to doubling City's lead with a shot which hit the bar.

The visitors hit the woodwork again, this time the post through striker Kirsty Howat, early in the second half as they looked to take full advantage of their extra player in the hot conditions.

Somatio goalkeeper Anna James-Buhigas made a treble save to deny Lauder and Leanne Crichton, twice, before the home side hit the bar themselves with a free kick from Christiana Solomou.

Ross, who had been booked in 58 minutes for a foul on speedy Ivory Coast internationalist Rebecca Elloh, got a second yellow 10 utes later for taking a free kick before Latvian referee Viola Raudzina had sanctioned it.

Somatio's other danger player, Krystyna Freda, also sent an effort against the bar before Crichton's vital second away goal seven minutes from time, this time from a header.

The return leg is at Petershill Park on September 27.

Somatio Barcelona 0 Glasgow City 2

(half-time 0-1)


Glasgow City: Lauder 3, Crichton 83

Glasgow City (3-4-3): Alexander; Ross, Girasoli, Docherty; Lauder (Foley 63), Love, Crichton, Kerr; Ivanusa (Kulis 63), Howat, Grant (Clark 85)

Yellow cards: Ross 58, 68

Red card: Ross 68

Referee: V Raudzina (Lat)