Shirley Cruz could well be on her way to a impressive third Champions League title.
Her club Paris Saint-Germain beat Bayern Munich 4-0 in Wednesday’s decisive quarterfinal game thanks in part to a beautiful goal from Cruz in the 42nd minute. The Costa Rican midfielder stole the ball straight from a Bayern defender right in front of the opponent’s box before lofting the ball over the goalie and into the net.
Despite losing in the first of two legs 1-0, PSG was able to wipe away the single goal differential at home to win 4-1 on aggregate and advance easily to the women’s Champions League semifinals. The goal marks Cruz’s second in Paris’ last three Champions League games.
Cruz has already won a Champions League title twice – in 2011 and 2012 – with former French club Lyon. The only other Costa Rican footballer with a Champions League title to his or her name is Keylor Navas, who lifted the trophy last year as the starting goalkeeper for Real Madrid.
Cruz’s club had to work in the Round of 32 to reach this point as it was down a 3-1 score following the initial leg against Norway’s LSK Kvinner Fotballklubb. In the second game back in front of the home crowd at Parc des Princes in Paris, Cruz and company mounted a four-goal assault to top the Norwegians in aggregate and move on.
The first leg of the women’s semifinals are set to begin April 22 and PSG will take on Barcelona.
In the meantime, the 31-year-old captain of the Costa Rican women’s national team is expected back with La Sele for an April 9 friendly with Japan, the 2011 Women’s World Cup champions and the 2015 runner-up.