A goalless first-half gave Blues hope of scoring a crucial away goal, but a late goal from Marta added to the American’s second-half brace to put the Swedish hosts through.
In similar fashion to the first leg, the hosts controlled the first half as Blues set up a solid foundation. Tackles were flying in and the crowd were contributing to the fiery atmosphere inside the Tyresövallen.
That atmosphere seemed to have got the better of the hosts’ Brazilian superstar Marta with 28 minutes played. After tangling with Blues’ right-back Chelsea Weston, the two ended up on the floor and as Weston tried to get back to her feet Marta aimed a kick at her, which floored Weston and left her enraged. The off-the-ball incident, despite being in front of the fourth official, went unpunished.
Blues’ dogged defending had earlier seen them shut down the hosts’ attacks, but when they were breached goalkeeper Rebecca Spencer came to the rescue – denying first Marta’s vicious effort and then Press’ diving header.
Three minutes past the half hour mark, the hosts should have taken the lead when Marta’s corner picked out Lisa Dahlkvist, but she failed to connect with the ball from six yards out. Four minutes after the break, the hosts were awarded a harsh penalty as Diaz’s effort was alleged to have been handled by Weston. However, Marta somehow managed to put the ball well over the crossbar with an effort which threatened the car park behind.
Five minutes later, Boquete struck the same crossbar with a 25-yard effort, but the hosts were not to be denied and took the lead one minute after the hour mark. Diaz picked the ball up midway into the Blues half and slipped through Press who took a touch before firing a left-footed effort into the far corner.
It was tough on Blues, but the hosts deserved their advantage. But 11 minutes later, the lead was doubled. A left-wing cross found Marta three yards out at the back post, but her scuffed effort looped up and hit the crossbar before falling at the feet of Press for a tap-in.
It was a cruel blow to Blues and a piece of bad luck that their determined display did not warrant.
Blues threw on Hannah Keryakoplis and put Emily Westwood up front as they went in search of a route back in to the game, but as they pressed they were caught with a sucker punch. On the counter attack, Marta added a third in stoppage time with a crisp left-footed finish, but it was a scoreline that was harsh on Blues, who can be proud of their achievement nonetheless.
BLUES: Spencer; Weston, Sargeant, Mannion, Carter; Potter, Moore; Carney, Allen (Keryakoplis, 70), Lawley; Linnett (Westwood, 75). SUBS: Baggaley, Simpkins, Wilkinson, Torkildsen, Haines.
Korpela, Engen, Roddik, Dahlkvist, Boquete (Edlund, 90), Marta (Klinga, 90), Diaz (Thaisa, 84), Press, Seger, Sembrant, Klingenerg. SUBS: Soberg, Rilany, Rytting Kaneryd, Mayara.
GOALS: Press (61, 72), Marta (90)