09 September 2023
It hurts to think about, but Juventus Women will not take part in the group stages of the 2023/24 Women's Champions League.
Against tough opponents in Eintracht Frankfurt, and on their own turf, our Bianconere fell after a penalty shootout and 120 tense minutes in Germany. It ended 1-1 after 90 and 120 minutes, and Eintracht converted five of their penalties, with Juve netting four.
Joe Montemurro's side started well, and in the third minute Barbara Bonansea tried her luck from range, but had her shot saved. It was a balanced first half for the most part, with the Bianconere perhaps edging it.
Juventus had a chance through Sara Gama and were comfortable defensively in the opening 45 minutes. Lineth Beerensteyn caused problems for the hosts, and Bonansea again tried her luck down the right.
Juventus ended the half well, and came out flying in the second half. Sofia Cantore replaced Bonansea at the break and within two minutes she had put the Bianconere ahead, converting a rebound well after a Cristiana Girelli chance.
That joy only lasted 20 minutes though, with Eintracht dawing level through Lara Prasnikar from very close range.
Ella Palis had a chance in the 81st minute but sent her effort over, and so we went to extra time.
Extra-time in the balance
Eintracht gave all they could in the added 30 minutes, hitting the crossbar with a thumped effort and forcing Pauline Peyraud-Magnin into a number of saves. Girelli had a header at the other end, but the hosts then came back and hit the crossbar again.
Three chances fell Juve's way in the second half of extra time. First with Girelli, then Beerensteyn fired wide, then Sara Bjork Gunnarsdottir just couldn't turn home a chance that might well have seen the Bianconere advance.
Both teams scored their first spot kicks, but Estelle Cascarino then missed with our second as Eintracht went ahead. Peyraud-Magnin did her best to pull us back into the game though, saving once as the hosts missed their third and fourth kicks. But Beerensteyn missed with our fifth to keep things level.
Unfortunately, Paulina Nystrom missed another, sending the Germans on to Round 2.
Now, full focus is on domestic matters for the 2023/24 season.