Champions League defeat hard to take for Hibs Ladies boss
Hibernian Ladies manager Grant Scott says his side’s 4-1 home defeat to Slavia Prague in the Women’s Champions League on Wednesday was a “struggle to swallow,” Jamie Braidwood reports.
Despite taking an early lead through Siobhan Hunter at Easter Road, Hibs were left stunned after Slavia scored three goals in a six-minute spell late in the first half thanks to two goals from Tereza Kozarova and a stunning strike from Andrea Jarchovska.
Striker Kozarova then scored a third to complete her hat trick with 15 minutes left to go in the second half, leaving Hibs needing to score at least four away goals when they visit Prague for the return leg in two weeks’ time.
“I felt the scoreline flatters them,” Grant said. “But ultimately they’ve had the chances and they’ve taken them very clinically. Each and every one of them I feel we could have done better on, but I felt we minimised the chances they had. It’s a struggle to swallow.
“The three goals seem a little unfair in the first half and the fourth goal was a sucker punch, and it again comes from our error. The goals were tough ones to lose.”
Hibs’ hopes of progressing to the last 16 of the competition are now hanging by a thread.
“If we are going to leave the competition we may as well open up and have a go,” Scott said. “We created some chances [tonight] and we need to go again. Another early goal from us might make them have doubts. At this moment of time we are out of the competition, but we need to do something about it.”
Hibs had got off to the perfect start when Hunter opened the scoring in the fourth minute with a powerful volley from six yards out after Slavia failed to clear a corner.
But the Czech side, who have reached the quarter-finals of the competition in three out of the last four years, slowly grew into the game in front of a modest crowd of 1,287 at Easter Road.
Kozarova equalised with a calm finish under Hibs goalkeeper Jenna Fife before the striker scored her second four minutes later after she shot high into the roof of the net following a cutback from midfielder Katerina Svitkova.
Hibs then fell further behind after Slavia right-back Jarchovska was allowed to advance unchallenged before hitting an unstoppable shot from 25 yards out, leaving the home side with a mountain to climb in the second half.
Kozarova completed her hat trick with 15 minutes left to play with a left-footed strike from inside the box. Fife had made a strong save to deny Svitkova moments earlier.
Hibs were left frustrated late on by an excellent Slavia side, but away goalkeeper Olivie Lukasova was tested by a dipping volley from Amy Gallacher.
“I think our heads dropped a little [late in the first half] and we need to improve on that,” Hibs goalscorer Hunter added.
“I think we’ve learned a few lessons tonight. I think they’re a little better than we thought and I think we need to work really hard on getting to know each other better.
“I think 4-1 is harsh. I think three of the goals were our mistakes, so we can llearn from that. But give them credit, they were a good side and when they had chances they finished them.
“We’ve got nothing to lose now. I think we need to go, give it our all and if it’s not enough we’ll know that next time we need to improve.”