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2020-21 UEFA Women's Champions L, Semifinals
  • Alana Cook (21')
  • Jennifer Hermoso (13')
1st Leg
1st Leg

USWNT'S Cook finds PSG equaliser in Champions League semi vs. Barcelona

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United States women's national team defender Alana Cook cancelled out Jenni Hermoso's opener as Paris Saint-German and Barcelona drew 1-1 in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal on Sunday.

Both sides will feel they could have won it in the French capital. Marie-Antoinette Katoto twice came close for PSG, while goalkeeper Christiane Endler had to be at her best to keep out Barca, who also saw two penalty calls turned down.

The draw leaves the tie delicately poised going into the second leg at the Johan Cruyff stadium in Barcelona on May 2.

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Both sides are aiming to win the Champions League for the first time. Both have tasted defeat in the final in the past -- PSG in 2015 and 2017 and Barca in 2019 -- and both were knocked out at the semifinal stage last season.

There will be a new name on the trophy this season, as seven-time winners Lyon, who have won it in each of the last five years, were knocked out in the last round by PSG. The other two semifinalists, Bayern Munich and Chelsea, have never tasted European success, either.

Mauricio Pochettino, whose PSG side have their own Champions League semifinal against Manchester City on Wednesday, was in attendance at the Stade Municipal Georges Lefevre to see the Parisens make a fast start.

However, Barca soon established themselves in the game and came close to scoring in the ninth minute when Caroline Graham Hansen was denied by Endler. Four minutes later, Hermoso rose highest to head the visitors into the lead with her sixth goal in Europe this season -- making her the competition's top scorer.

PSG's response was almost immediate. Barca failed to clear a corner and defender Cook was well placed to head in the equaliser from two yards out on 21 minutes.

The chances continued to come thick and fast. Barca defender Marta Torrejon cleared a deflected PSG free kick off the line before Endler saved from first Hermoso and later Andrea Pereira.

Katoto had two of the game's best chances, though, hitting the inside of the post after a rare Hermoso error in possession and then scooping wide moments later.

Barca twice saw appeals for penalties fall on deaf ears, in the first half when Mapi Leon was brought down Paulina Dudek and in the second half when a Lieke Martens shot appeared to be blocked by the hand of a PSG defender.

Endler also saved well from an Alexia Putellas free kick and substitute Asisat Oshoala missed a gilt-edged chance to win it for Barca in the final straight of the game.