Sports, Football

Barca suffer shock defeat to Antwerp

By Reuters
Published : 14 Dec 2023 08:59 PM

Royal Antwerp won a first Champions League game on Wednesday with a surprise 3-2 home victory over Barcelona, securing their first points in Group H although it was not enough for them continue in this season's European club competition.

Teenager Arthur Vermeeren had Antwerp ahead after 90 seconds but Barcelona equalised 10 minutes before halftime through Ferran Torres.

Vincent Janssen put Antwerp in front again early in the second half, a lead they held going into stoppage time when 17-year-old Marc Guiu tried to deny home celebrations with an equaliser.

But straight from the kick-off Antwerp surged downfield and won the game through another teenage substitute, George Ilenikhena.

It meant Antwerp avoided losing all six of their group games in their Champions League debut but they still finished bottom of the standings.

The Spanish club, who rested regulars, had already secured a top-two place before Wednesday's game and the 5-3 win for Porto over Shakhtar Donetsk in the other group game confirmed Barcelona as group winners despite their defeat.