UEFA Women’s Champions League qualifier: Donna Vekic could start for Serbia in the 2018 FIFA World Cup

Donna Vekic suffers mid-air fright ahead of Guadalajara victory

Bayer Leverkusen forward Donna Vekic was taken off injured in Thursday’s 2-1 friendly win over El Salvador but is on standby to play for Serbia in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. (0:32)

DONNA VEKIC is one of the strongest forwards on a squad which is among the favourites to finish in the top four in UEFA Women’s Champions League qualifying.

She did not have to wait for half an hour Wednesday to score the winner with a powerful free-kick against El Salvador in a friendly at the North American Soccer League headquarters in Boca Raton, Florida.

The 21-year-old Hungarian-American scored her seventh goal in the last 12 matches against the El Salvador national team.

The win, coupled with a 2-0 win over the US in the same group on Tuesday night, has catapulted Leverkusen into the four-team group stage of the Champions League as the group with the best overall record.

Vekic, who is playing at the World Cup for Serbia against Switzerland, could start in the Champions League semi-finals, which start on June 8, and, according to Leverkusen coach Sabrina Döring, she is ready.

‘I don’t know’

“We’ll see how she’s feeling,” Döring told Sky Sports News. “I have seen her the day before and she looked pretty good, but then again we won the second match and maybe she’s a little tired from that.

“But I would say she (can play Tuesday) because she’s very strong. She’s not an elite striker. She’s good in the air, strong and she’s quick. The only thing I would change is a more quick decision-making in these sort of situations.”

The match, which saw two Hungarian players playing for their country in a friendly, was the first by Germany’s European top sides in the group stage since the 2007/08 edition of the UEFA Women’s Champions League when the team played the US and Brazil in the same group.

“I think it (this) will be a good test for us (for next year),” Döring said.

“They are a strong team,

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