Cushing hails 'unbelievable achievement' by City Women

31 March 2017 09:21

Manchester City Women boss Nick Cushing hailed the achievement of his side after reaching the Champions League semi-finals at the first time of asking.

The Women's Super League champions continued their successful maiden campaign in the competition by easing past Danish side Fortuna Hjorring at the City Football Academy.

Lucy Bronze headed the only goal of the second leg to complete a 2-0 aggregate success and book a last-four clash with holders Lyon.

The French side, who have reached five of the past eight finals, are likely to provide a tougher test but Cushing is relishing the challenge.

He said: "I think this team is ready for it. We need it. I think we now need to see where we're at.

"But it is an unbelievable achievement in our first season to get to the semi-finals and we can go into that game with no pressure on us.

"We will enjoy putting ourselves up against the best."

City were comfortable winners after England international Bronze sent a looping header over Fortuna keeper Maria Christensen after 41 minutes.

Captain Steph Houghton said: "We are dangerous from set-pieces. We proved that again tonight.

"Lucy always tends to pop up with an important goal. Once that went in we were able to relax a bit. It gave us that bit more confidence.

"Everyone is delighted. It is something we have worked really hard to get to but we don't stop here."

Fortuna created little aside from a handful of chances in the first half. One of them, a shot from Caroline Rask, was blocked by Houghton and manager Brian Sorensen felt a hand was involved.

"We created three chances and one of them was a penalty and a red card," he said.

"But I am very proud of my team. We were the only amateur team left, so I am proud we played an equal game with a team like Manchester City."

Houghton had a different view of the penalty claim.

"Never a pen! It wasn't a pen," she said.

Men's manager Pep Guardiola watched some of the game and Houghton added: "I am sure the girls will be delighted he has come and seen us and will probably want to put a better performance on for him next time."

Source: PA