Aston Villa’s rare impact on Manchester City breathes new life into the Cup
Aston Villa (Women) 2 Manchester City (Women) 1
Women’s FA Cup upsets are rare, so Aston Villa’s extra-time victory over Manchester City gave the competition a much-needed jolt and brought a fresh touch to the semi-final line-up.
The matchup between the 5th and 3rd in the rankings was nothing like David vs. Goliath, but since February 2013 and since turning pro the following year, Manchester City have been out of the competition by someone other than Chelsea. Knocked out.The two rivals have won the cup in each of the last six seasons.
More importantly, only Arsenal, Chelsea or Manchester City have lifted the Cup since Birmingham City in 2012. Additionally, progress from Manchester United, Villa and Brighton ensured at least one Wembley debut for the final on 14 May.
“Probably the biggest night in Villa’s history,” said happily manager Carla Ward. “The last few days of training went through the roof because I challenge them every day to take the next step and go to the next level. It summarizes: drive, unity and tenacity.
Villa are enjoying their best season in women’s football history, finishing fifth in the top tier and reaching their first major semi-final in modern times.
This was thanks to extra time winners from England striker Rachel Daley, who scored the goal under the watchful eye of England head coach Sarina Wiegman and her assistant Arjan Vorink. Tapped the far post after bad markings from a deep billa set piece from Manchester City.
With Manchester City and England’s Chloe Kelly going 1-1 at their best, both sides spurred glorious chances to win the tie late in the first 90 minutes. After deflecting the opening goal with a Cauchy header, he came out with a header ahead of the visitors’ equalizer. Roebuck also produced a top-quality save to deny Daly in the first half.
Last year’s finalists City are left with the league title as their only chance to avoid a trophyless campaign.
Aston Villa Women (4-5-1): Hampton 6; Meiling 6 (Pacheco 7, 60), Patten 8, Cauchy 8, Turner 6. Blindkild Brown 6 (Lehman 7, 79), Staniforth 8, Nobs 7 (Lovejon 6, 118), Dali 7, Hanson 7 (Gregory 5, 120+1). Daily 8.
unused substitutes: Lied (gk), mallet.
Reserved: Dali, Hanson.
Manchester City Women (4-2-3-1): Roebuck 7; Casparij 7, Morgan 6, Greenwood 7, Aleixandri 7 (Fowler 6, 105); Hasegawa 7, Angeldahl 6 (Coombs 6, 105); Kelly 6, Castellanos 6, Hemp 6 (Laso 6, 112); show 6.
unused substitutes: Stokes, Houghton, Uahavi, McIver (gk), Kennedy, Braxtad.
Reserved: green wood.
Referee: Rebecca Welch.