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Jess Fishlock, Lyon advance to Champions League semifinal

Lyon will face Chelsea in April’s semifinal clash.

Wolfsburg v Lyon - UEFA Women’s Champions League: Quarter Final Second Leg Photo by Joachim Sielski/Getty Images

Jess Fishlock and Lyon are one step closer to reaching the UEFA Women’s Champions League (UWCL) final after defeating German side Wolfsburg 6-3 on aggregate. Fishlock started both legs of the quarterfinal series, subbing out in the 82nd minute of Wednesday’s victory and going 58 minutes in Lyon’s first match.

After taking a 2-1 lead at home a week prior in front of a crowd of 17,840, Lyon traveled to Wolfsburg for leg two of the competition. The French club came out hot, going up 2-0 before halftime thanks to goals from Dzsenifer Marozsán and Wendie Renard. But Wolfsburg didn’t roll over, and 2017/18 UEFA Player of the Year Pernille Harder scored twice in four minutes early in the second half to bring the score to 2-2. Lyon’s Eugénie Le Sommer responded with two goals of her own, ending the match at 4-2 and the series at 6-3.

It was the fourth year in a row that Lyon knocked out Wolfsburg. That Fishlock started both matches says a lot about her quality. This is a Lyon team that features England’s Lucy Bronze, arguably the most talented player on a rising national team; midfielder Saki Kumagai, who captains the Japanese national team; some of France’s best players, including centerback Renard, midfielders Amandine Henry and Amel Marji, and Le Sommer in attack; Ada Hegerberg, who is among the best center forwards in the world; Dsenifer Maroszan, Germany’s playmaker; and Shanice van de Sanden, a speedster from the Netherlands.

Lyon has won the UWCL three years in a row, and Fishlock is a critical component of the midfield. She’s been included in all Champions League competitions and played 11 matches and scored one goal in D1 Feminine competition, France’s top professional league. Fishlock has also featured in four matches and scored once in the Women’s Coupe de France tournament — Lyon’s lone goal in a 1-0 quarterfinal win over Paris Saint-Germain.

Fishlock will now go up against Wales Women’s captain Sophie Ingle, who plays for Chelsea, Lyon’s UWCL semifinal opponent. Chelsea advanced over Paris Saint-Germain thanks to a stoppage time goal from Maren Mjelde, which put the English side up 3-2 on aggregate. Canadian left back Ashley Lawrence fell asleep on the far post for PSG, allowing Mjelde to sneak in behind.

Lyon hosts Chelsea in leg one of the semifinal on April 20 or 21 (schedule pending), with the second match taking place a week later in England. If all goes well for Fishlock and Lyon, they would be playing in the UWCL final on May 18 — then hopefully returning with more hardware in hand and re-joining Reign FC. In the meantime, both Fishlock and Ingle report to Wales for an April 4 match against Czech Republic.

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