Anna Anvegard didn’t just score two goals against Leicester City on Saturday evening in Liverpool; the Sweden winger twice gave her side the lead in a match that saw the Toffees take three of three points and jump up from tenth place to ninth place in the Women’s Super League table. It also was the first three-game win streak for the Toffees all season.
The 24-year-old, the player of the match on the club’s official Twitter page, found the back of the net on either side of halftime; she scored in the 40’ and the 52’. For her first goal, Anvegard intercepted an errant pass and slotted the ball past Leicester goalkeeper Sophie Harris.
Just over 10 minutes later, Anvegard was fortunate to see a cross into the box deflect off a Leicester defender and drop to her feet, but the Sweden international made no mistake for her second of the day.
The Blues had to play catch up within the first few minutes of kickoff; the Foxes took an early lead through left back Jemma Purfield, who opened the scoring for the visitors in the 5’. Winger Toni Duggan drew Everton level half an hour in after dancing around Harris. The assist on Duggan’s goal: Anna Anvegard.
But Leicester answered by knotting the score on the stroke of halftime; midfielder Sam Tierney managed to sneak the ball past Sandy MacIver in net.
Saturday’s affair was not without plenty of excitement — the hosts scored three goals on six attempts and won the possession battle, 62–38. Still, Everton’s defense had a sloppy game, which kept MacIver busy in net. Even though the Foxes dropped points, the away side managed nine shots on target. And while two spilled in, MacIver had a strong outing between the wickets.
Still, giving up nine shots on frame to a Leicester side that has just four wins and 14 goals in 17 fixtures is less than ideal. There haven’t been many winnable games for the Toffees this season, so picking up three points Saturday pushes the Merseyside outfit that much closer to avoiding the drop. Birmingham City most likely will go down; City has one win this season and currently sits eight points from safety behind Leicester.
After scoring her first brace in blue, Anvegard is Everton’s leading scorer on the season with four league goals. Duggan is tied for second with striker Simone Magill with two markers. And while the offense is starting to pick up, Anvegard, Duggan and Magill account for nearly 60% of all the team’s league goals.
What’s more, most of the goals have come against one of Birmingham, Leicester or Reading. The Blues are wrapping up a stretch that saw them play weaker competition, but the road ahead brings several daunting challenges — the Toffees’ upcoming three fixtures are Chelsea (March 16), Manchester City (FA Women’s Cup on March 20) and City again in the league (March 23).