LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Rose Lavelle and Sam Mewis of Manchester City celebrate with the trophy during the Vitality Women's FA Cup Final match between Everton Women and Manchester City Women at Wembley Stadium on November 01, 2020 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Matt McNulty - Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

In a true show of the talent that lies within the FA Women’s Super League, Manchester City and Everton battled for the title of FA Women’s Cup Champions in a thrilling match that required extra time to decide its winner. Man. City came out victorious behind goals from Sam Mewis, Georgia Stanway and Janine Beckie, winning the tournament for the third time in four seasons and for the second season in a row. USWNT stars Rose Lavelle and Sam Mewis each logged valuable minutes during the match, earning their first silverware with Man. City since their signings in August.

Here’s how the action unfolded.

In the 15th minute, a ball was threaded through to Everton midfielder Hayley Raso, catching the Man. City defense too far upfield. Taking advantage of the breakaway, Raso took her space as Man. City defender Lucy Bronze recovered, gaining on Raso from behind and tripping her to end the scoring drive. The foul would draw a yellow card and give Everton a set-piece opportunity, which the squad was unable to convert.

Fighting for a go-ahead goal, Man. City continued to press the Everton defense, with standouts Chloe Kelly and Sam Mewis leading the charge. With 25 minutes gone, Mewis received a lofted ball just outside the eighteen, taking a touch forward to beat three Everton defenders. Mewis attempted to poke the ball past Everton goalkeeper Alexandra MacIver, but the keeper would deny Mewis’ scoring chance to render the game deadlocked at 0-0.

As the first half began to draw to a close, Man. City had yet to be rewarded for their impressive showing. In the 39th minute, they would get their chance, earning a corner kick that was taken by defender Alex Greenwood. Greenwood played in a near-perfect ball, finding the head of Mewis in the box. The 6-foot midfielder had no trouble redirecting the ball into the back of the net, notching her third regular-season goal in her sixth appearance for the club to put Man. City up 1-0.

In the 55th minute, a Man. City shot rebounded off of the post and to the feet of Chloe Kelly, who fired off a close-range shot that would be denied by MacIver yet again to limit Man. City’s lead to one goal. Everton would level the score five minutes later, in a similar fashion to Mewis’ goal —  a corner kick taken by Izzy Christiansen was headed home by forward Valérie Gauvin, who battled back from an injury earlier in the match to deadlock the game once more at 1-1.

With six minutes of stoppage time on the clock, Man. City’s Caroline Weir played a give-and-go with Chloe Kelly, receiving the ball and firing a shot that deflected off of the crossbar. Both teams fought for a goal that would render them the FA Cup Champions, but neither were successful in their efforts, leaving the match to be decided in extra time.

A hard-fought first half of extra time ensued, highlighted by a Man. City chance which began when a pass was slipped to forward Georgia Stanway. Taking her space, Stanway collided with MacIver, who had abandoned the net in an attempt to make a save. The ball squeaked out from under MacIver, allowing Stanway to maintain possession, but a recovery and clearance from Everton defender Megan Finnigan would serve to fend off the attack.

Finally, in the 111th minute of play, Jess Park played a through ball into the path of Stanway, who ran onto the pass and, on her first touch, put away the go-ahead goal, giving Man. City a 2-1 advantage. Minutes later, it was Stanway on the ball again — this time slotting a pass to Janine Beckie in the box, who scored to seal the FA Women’s Cup Championship title for her squad.

WHAT’S NEXT IN THE FA WSL:

 

November 7th 

Manchester City vs. Bristol City @ 10:00 a.m. EST

November 8th 

Chelsea vs. Everton @ 7:00 a.m. EST

Manchester United vs. Arsenal @ 7:00 a.m. EST

Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Aston Villa @ 9:00 a.m. EST

Birmingham City vs. West Ham United @ 9:00 a.m. EST

Tottenham vs. Reading FC @ 9:00 a.m. EST

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