The stage was set for an Everton Ladies upset over Arsenal today: a packed and enthusiastic crowd showed up at Marine Travel Arena and the Toffees were ready to prove that they deserve more than their 8th place standing in the WSL table.
The Blue Girls’ determined performance would have sent their FA Cup semi-final into extra time too if it weren’t for a last minute shocker to end the Blue Girls’ Wembley dreams.
Danielle Carter opened the scoring in the 25th minutes off of a cross from American Heather O’Reilly to make it 1-0 for the Gunners.
Arsenal dominated in the first half but Everton Ladies certainly improved in the second. In the 65th minute, a penalty was called after New Zealand international Olivia Chance was brought down in the box and Chloe Kelly stepped up to equalise, making it 1-1.
With the game tied at one-apiece it looked like Everton had done enough to send the game into extra time but from an Arsenal corner, Louise Quinn’s header broke Everton hearts.
Here’s another look (if you’re so inclined):
Another look at @louise_quinn4's dramatic winner! ⚽️— The SSE Women's FA Cup (@SSEWomensFACup) April 15, 2018
Big thanks to @BBCSport for the clips – make sure you tune into the second of our semi-finals, live on @BBCTwo from 3.15pm. pic.twitter.com/tp52aSdl2D
Several of the last few goals the Ladies have conceded have been off of corner kicks, including in the recent games against Sunderland and against Durham. The Blue Girls showed improvement over their last effort against Arsenal, where the Gunners won 1-0 and dominated possession, holding the ball for 62% of the time.
Everton Ladies can take pride in knowing that in their first season back in the top flight of women’s football, they came very close to making it to the FA Cup final. Up the Toffees!
Arsenal will go on to play Chelsea in the SSE Women’s FA Cup Final at Wembley on Saturday, 5 May.
Everton Ladies have a quick turnaround as they play WSL’s top team Chelsea on Wednesday night before playing Reading on Sunday. Their remaining fixtures are up against the toughest WSL teams, including the Merseyside Derby on April 29th and then Manchester City in May.
Possession: 42% Everton, 58% Arsenal
Shots: 9 Everton, 16 Arsenal
Shots on Target: 2 Everton, 7 Arsenal
Corners: 2 Everton, 6 Arsenal
Fouls: 10 Everton, 5 Arsenal
Two goalkeepers have been rotated in all season and Kirstie Levell got the start today. There were a few other changes since the last game; Faye Bryson, Olivia Chance, and Jodie Brett started in place of Taylor Hinds, Megan Finnigan, and Mollie Green.