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Women's Football News
Arsenal won through a penalty shootout for the second round in a row to reach the semi finals of the SSE Women's FA Cup following a 2-2 draw against Notts County.
Kelly Smith broke the deadlock against the run of play with a wonderful finish, half-volleying Alex Scott's cross beyond Carly Telford, but the visitors were level within two minutes when Sophie Bradley-Auckland glanced in Dani Buet's free kick.
Buet was involved again as Notts went in front in controversial circumstances. The right back's cross caused havoc in the Arsenal box and Aivi Luik bundled the ball home, with the referee ignoring vociferous appeals for a foul on Sari van Veenendaal, although there seemed to be little contact from Ellen White.
Arsenal were enraged again either side of the interval as the referee waved away two penalty appeals for fouls on Asisat Oshoala and the official was a central figure again when he showed County's former Gunners striker Ellen White a harsh second yellow card just past the hour for, what the referee deemed as kicking the ball away. Notts looked like they would survive as they kept the hosts at arm's length, but Natalia Pablos Sanchon nodded in fellow substitute Katie McCabe's cross seven minutes from time to force extra time.
With the teams still level after 120 minutes, the match went to penalties and McCabe struck the decider after van Veenendaal and Telford had saved two each.
Manchester City secured their place in the last four with a 2-0 victory over Sporting Club Albion at the Academy Stadium. First half goals from Nikita Parris and Jane Ross gave Nick Cushing's side a two-goal lead at the break, and though the hosts had chances to extend the lead in the second half, proved enough to progress. Albion went closest late on when Trina Greaves struck the woodwork with a long range shot.
Sunderland edged past Reading FC Women with a 3-0 victory and are one stage away from reaching the Final for the second time. First half goals from Beth Mead and Tori Williams set Carlton Fairweather's side on their way to progress to the last four. Brooke Chaplen added a third deep into stoppage time, while at the other end Helen Ward and Nia Jones went close for Reading.
Holders Chelsea will have their sights set on a return trip to Wembley after ending the hopes of the last remaining WSL 2 side, Aston Villa, by beating them 6-0. The Blues took until three minutes before the interval to open the scoring through Drew Spence but Ji So-Yun was on target three times in the second half, while there were also goals for Fran Kirby and Eniola Aluko (see match report).
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