Arsenal learnt of their UEFA Women’s Champions League Round 1 opponents on Friday with The Gunners being paired with Kazakhstani club FC Okzhetpes.
The Gunners will participate in a one-off semi-final tie next month with the winners facing either PSV Eindhoven or FC Lokomotiv Moscow in the final for the right to reach Round 2.
Who are Arsenal’s semi-final opponents? FAWSL Full-Time have analysed the club in detail and here are three facts that you may not know about FC Okzhetpes.
Defeated in qualifying in 2020/2021
FC Okzhetpes entered the 2020/2021 UEFA Women’s Champions League as the runners-up in the Kazakhstani Women’s Championship. As a result, they entered the competition in the first qualifying round but they were beaten 2-1 after extra-time by Georgian club Lanchkhuti.
A team of homegrown talents
FC Okzhetpes are very much flying the flag for Kazakhstani football in every sense of the word. The squad are made up of homegrown players, many of which have appeared for the Kazakhstani national team. Veteran attacker Begaim Kirgizbaeva is the national team captain and she has scored six goals in 47 appearances for her country. Nine of her club teammates have also been on the national team radar in the last 12 months.
FC Okzhetpes are not in great form
FC Okzhetpes head towards their UEFA Women’s Champions League Round 1 semi-final meeting in patchy form. The club have won two and lost four of their last six league matches. FC Okzhetpes lost heavily on two occasions to league champions BIIK Kazygurt going down 7-0 and 10-0 in the space of just three days in June. They are 14 points adrift of BIIK Kazygurt in the Kazakhstani Women’s Championship table after 12 games.
Arsenal and FC Okzhetpes meet in their UEFA Women’s Champions League Round 1 semi-final on 18 August with the final taking place on 21 August. A venue for both games is yet to be formally confirmed.