Home FOOTBALL Vitality Women’s FA Cup – Quarter Finals – Part 1

Vitality Women’s FA Cup – Quarter Finals – Part 1

FA Cup: Birmingham vs Brighton
Picture Source: Twitter

The Vitality Women’s FA Cup for the 2019-20 season was brought to a standstill in the wake of the pandemic. The competition was paused right before the quarter-finals. The schedule of the 2020-21 season was organized to accommodate last season’s missed Women’s FA Cup games as well.

The first half of the draw had one favorite and that was Chelsea. The 19-20 WSL winners have made winning a habit. The first half of the draw played out as follows:

Everton Women vs Chelsea Women [2-1]

Everton faced a strong Chelsea side managed by Emma Hayes. It would take a stellar performance to beat the current holders of the WSL title. The star studded Chelsea team were the favorites in this match without doubt. Chelsea scored their first goal through Erin Cuthbert, assisted by Pernille Harder. They created another three chances within the first ten minutes of the game itself. Everton’s goalkeeper Sandy MacIver was up to the task and made three excellent saves to keep Everton in the game. Lucy Graham scored the equalizer for Everton with a diving header in the 40th minute. Ingrid Moe Wold had the time and space to put in a good cross which led to the goal.

Everton took the lead in the 63rd minute, much against the run of the play. Hayley Raso who had failed to score after rounding the keeper in the first half, produced a good cross from the left wing. Half-time substitute Valeria Gauvin met the cross with a diving header ahead of Chelsea defender Jessica Carter. Despite all the chances created by Chelsea, the match ended 2-1 and Everton progressed to the semi-final. An upset in every meaning of the word.

Brighton & Hove Albion Women vs Birmingham City Women [2-2] [penalties: 2-4]

This game was a fiercely contested one. Both teams attacked with great plays on the wing and relentless crossing into the box. Sarah Mayling finished Christie Murray’s cross at the far post to give the away side a one goal lead just 5 minutes into the game. Brighton’s Felicity Gibbons won a foul in the box. As a result, Danielle Bowman stepped up to the take the penalty and slotted the ball to the right of the goalkeeper. The scores were level at 25 minutes. Danique Kerkdijk conceded a foul in the penalty area and that allowed Mollie Green to score a penalty and put Birmingham in the lead. Denise O’Sullivan turned in Gibbons’ cross from the left-hand side and Brighton were back in the game with an 89th-minute equalizer.

A penalty shootout settled the game when neither side could break the 2-2 deadlock in the 30-minute extra time. Birmingham won the shootout 4-2 courtesy of penalty misses by Kayleigh Green and Megan Connolly.

The semi-final between Birmingham and Everton was much anticipated, as it would mean that one of the underdog teams makes it to the final of the Women’s FA Cup.

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