Extra-time strikes from Georgia Stanway and Janine Beckie gifted Manchester City a third Women’s FA Cup as they defeated Everton 3-1 in the delayed 2019-20 Final.
Sam Mewis had headed City ahead in the 40th minute from Alex Greenwood’s corner only for Valerie Gauvin to head Everton level on the hour mark, making this the fourth Women’s FA Cup final to go to extra-time.
Steph Houghton saw a header cleared in first-half injury time of extra time but Stanway struck in the 111th minute to bend in past Sandy Mclver, before teeing up Beckie to confirm victory just moments before full-time as Man City made it three Women’s FA Cup Finals unbeaten and defended their crown.
Everton have now lost four of their six Women’s FA Cup Finals but sit second in this season’s Women’s Super League which resumes next weekend.
City made a bright start with ex Toffees star, Chloe Kelly seeing a third minute shot saved as they dominated the opening minutes, forcing Everton to sit and defend deep.
Hayley Raso created Everton’s first opportunity of attack when she broke only to be fouled by Lucy Bronze and Ellie Roebuck in the 16th minute, from which Damaris Egurrola fired over the bar.
Both teams then traded chances until Rose Lavelle’s 39th minute shot was blocked for a corner, which was whipped in by Alex Greenwood to Mewis who had escaped her marker and headed in unchallenged to put City in front at the break.
Gauvin however nearly put Everton level from a through ball but was fouled by Houghton, suffering a knee injury but was able to continue after treatment at half-time.
Caroline Weir nearly doubled City’s lead just ten minutes after the break but her shot rebounded off the right post and fell to Kelly who fired over via a deflection.
Raso then went up the other end but her cross was deflected for a corner which fell for Egurrola but her shot was flicked over for another set piece, which proved pivotal for Everton as Izzy Christiansen played the corner kick short for Gauvin to head into the near left corner to restore parity.
Mewis missed an opportunity to put the Citizens back ahead when she dragged a 72nd minute shot wide of bottom right corner, only for Gauvin to head Nicoline Sorensen’s cross wide then City go straight back up the other end with Kelly firing just wide of the bottom left corner.
City proceeded to pile the pressure on in search of a late winner with Weir spectacularly blasting two injury-time shots onto the bar in quick succession from Demi Stokes pullback then an one-two play with Kelly respectively, with the match forced to go to extra-time as a consequence.
Toffees boss, Willie Kirk substituted Gauvin plus Rikke Sevecke for Simone Magill and Poppy Pattinson but they couldn’t prevent Mewis enjoying two shots in two successive minutes, of which Mclver cleared to keep the Toffees level before punching Houghton’s 116th header clear to keep the match level at half-time in extra-time.
Jess Park however broke Everton’s resistance with a 111th minute through ball which Stanway managed to latch onto and just bend under McIver’s left side to put City back in front.
Stanway turned assistant 11 minutes later as she flicked Roebuck’s long free-kick forward for fellow substitute, Janine Beckie to fire into the bottom right corner, clinching victory and a third Women’s FA Cup for City as the full-time whistle blew.
Speaking post-match to BBC One, Manchester City manager, Gareth Taylor spoke of his pride in his players’ performance, saying; “I’m super proud of the players and this builds us a great platform. We just needed to improve our quality in the final third. But look, the emotions are high, it was about winning today.
- Man City have won all three of their Women’s FA Cup Final appearances although this is the first of their titles to not be won in normal time.
Everton: Sandy Mclver, Ingrid Moe Wold, Megan Finnigan, Rikke Sevecke (Pattinson – 90), Danielle Turner, Darmis Egurrola (Stringer – 99), Izzy Christiansen, Nicoline Sorensen, Lucy Graham (Pike – 90+2), Hayley Raso (Boye-Hlorkah -76), Valerie Gauvin (Magill – 90)
Man City; Ellie Roebuck, Lucy Bronze, Steph Houghton, Alex Greenwood, Demi Stokes, Sam Mewis, Keira Walsh, Chloe Kelly (Beckie -119), Rose Lavelle (Park – 70), Ellen White (Stanway – 63)