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Women's Football News
Home advantage turned out to be very important in the quarter finals of the FA Continental Tyres Cup, with all of the group winners advancing to the last four.
However holders Arsenal needed a dramatic late comeback in order to book their place in the semi finals, after looking to be on their way out against Birmingham City.
The Blues were handed a great opportunity to open the scoring in the eighteenth minute but Sari van Veenendaal saved Aoife Mannion's penalty to keep her side on level terms.
Birmingham did however take the lead on the hour mark, when Lucy Quinn scored from close range. The Blues remained in front until the last six minutes, when Danielle van de Donk headed in the equaliser from a Vivianne Miedema cross and as the game went into injury time, provider turned goalscorer as Miedema grabbed the winner to take Arsenal into the last four.
One team from the Championship made it through the group stages and Manchester Utd's run in the competition continued as they defeated West Ham Utd 2-0. An own goal, following a good run and cross by Lauren James, gave Casey Stoney's side the lead in the seventeenth minute and eight minutes into the second half, Jess Sigsworth scored a second to seal the win and take her side into the semi finals at the first attempt.
It was a night of happy returns for two Chelsea players as they swept through with a 4-0 victory over Reading FC Women. Fran Kirby was making her first appearance for two months and she wated no time in getting back on the scoresheet, finishing off a good move to put her side ahead after three minutes. As half time approached, Anita Asante, who is back in the side after a long injury lay-off, scored her first goal for the club with an angled drive. Brooke Chaplen headed wide from a good opportunity as Reading tried to find a way back into the game in the second half but Kirby killed off any hopes of a comeback when she scored her second goal against her former club, and she turned provider for the final goal late on when her cross was converted by Ali Riley.
Manchester City are seeking a third success in the competition and on Thursday night, they moved a step closer when they won 7-1 against Brighton & Hove Albion. Nikita Parris put them ahead after six minutes but Brighton's reply was a swift one, Danielle Buet scoring from the penalty spot following a foul on Ini Umotong. City were back in front at the mid-point of the first half thanks to Lauren Hemp, a lead which they took into half time. Caroline Weir drilled in a third from the edge of the area, early in the second half, before City powered in four more goals in the last five minutes. First, Hemp netted her second goal with a good run and finish, then Claire Emslie curled in a fifth. Georgia Stanway and Janine Beckie added further goals in injury time to round off the victory.
The FA has announced that the draw for the semi finals will take place on Saturday 12th January, at half time during the EFL match between Sheffield United and Queen's Park Rangers at Bramall Lane, the venue for the final of the competition on 23rd February.
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