Man City beats spirited Everton to retain Women's FA Cup

Georgia Stanway and Janine Beckie struck in extra time as Manchester City beat Everton 3-1 to retain its Women's FA Cup title.

Man City Women

Manchester City Women celebrate winning the Women's FA Cup title on Sunday.   -  Reuters

Manchester City retained the Women's FA Cup with a hard-fought 3-1 extra-time victory over Everton in the summit clash at Wembley on Sunday, finally bringing the 2019-20 season to a close after the competition was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gareth Taylor's side dominated possession from kickoff but was made to work hard for the win, with Everton striker Valerie Gauvin cancelling out Sam Mewis's opener for City.

Alex Greenwood and Lucy Bronze

Manchester City's Alex Greenwood and Lucy Bronze celebrate winning the Women's FA Cup Final   -  Reuters

 

Substitute Georgia Stanway scored the decisive strike in the 21st minute of extra time, squeezing the ball through the legs of Everton goalkeeper Sandy MacIver, who had done well to keep her side in contention after the match ended 1-1.

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Janine Beckie scored with the last kick of the game to seal City's third FA Cup triumph, the club's seventh major trophy since turning professional in 2014, though no fans were present to see it due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“It was an exciting game to play in. Everton put out an unbelievable performance and we matched it. We had an extra gear to go up to in the end. It was just about having enough to find it,” Stanway told the BBC.

“The boots were shaking a bit but we also knew we had it under control... It's sad that my family aren't here, but I hope to do a rerun of this in the years to come,” she added.

 

City had early chances through Chloe Kelly, who played for Everton in the early rounds of the competition but moved to Manchester in the close season and was not cup-tied due to a change in the rules.

Everton was mostly able to soak up the pressure. However, the defensive discipline of Willie Kirk's side was broken shortly before half-time when American World Cup winner Mewis headed in from a corner.

The side could have doubled its lead 10 minutes after the break but Caroline Weir hit the post with a sliding shot and the follow-up effort by Kelly was brilliantly tipped over by MacIver.

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That proved decisive as Everton went up the other end and forced a corner, from which French striker Gauvin scored with the back of her head having jumped at the near post. It was the 24-year-old's sixth goal since her move from Montpellier in August.

Both sides had a flurry of chances near the end of the second half with Weir hitting the woodwork again for City with a curling shot from the edge of the area.

However, the match went to extra time where Stanway, who also scored in last year's final, grabbed the initiative and then set up Beckie to seal the win.

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