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Everton 1 (Gauvin 60)
after extra time; at Wembley Stadium>
Manchester City 3 (Mewis 40, Stanway 111, Beckie 120)
Everton 1 (Gauvin 60)
after extra time; at Wembley Stadium
Manchester City retained the Vitality Women's FA Cup as two extra time goals saw them beat a spirited Everton side in an entertaining Final at Wembley.
The match was played behind closed doors at Wembley Stadium and Everton were playing in their first Final for six seasons and, after coming under some early pressure, they created the first chance when a free kick was not properly cleared and Damaris Egurrola fired over the bar.
City began to push forward with Chloe Kelly forcing a save from Sandy MacIver but, although the holders were dominating possession and territory, a well organised Everton defence stayed firm and did not concede too many clear cut opportunities.
All this was to change five minutes before half time though, as Alex Greenwood swung in a corner which was met by a towering header from Sam Mewis into the roof of the net for the opening goal.
City almost made it two early in the second half when a stinging shot from Caroline Weir came back off the post, Kelly got on to the rebound but she was denied by an excellent save from MacIver.
Everton were also looking dangerous when going forward and on the hour, they were back on level terms from a corner of their own. Izzy Christiansen's kick was directed in off the head of Valerie Gauvin to bring her side back into the game.
Everton enjoyed their best spell of the game at this point, Gauvin going closest with a header from a Nicoline Sorensen cross. City introduced Georgia Stanway as a substitute and she almost made an instant impact with a rasping shot which was just wide.
Weir fired over a good chance after a scramble in the Everton area and the Scottish midfielder was to go within inches of putting her side back in front with a typical curling strike from 20 yards which hit the bar. Everton saw out the late City storm in order to take the match into extra time.
It looked as though Stanway would put City ahead during the extra period when she ran on to Weir's pass and took the ball past MacIver but Megan Finnigan reacted brilliantly to get to the ball first and clear before the striker could roll it into the net. Another Greenwood corner saw City go close again, Houghton powered a goalbound header at the far post but the excellent MacIver produced a brilliant save, tipping the ball onto the post.
City were growing stronger as extra time wore on though and with nine minutes left, they made the breakthrough. Jess Park slid a delightful through ball into the path of Stanway and she coolly tucked her shot past MacIver to put her side back in front.
Everton were now forced to throw players forward in search of an equaliser but it was City who were to have the final say with the last kick of the game as Janine Beckie, on as a substitute just a couple of minutes beforehand, produced another calm finish to slide her shot into the far corner of the net to begin City celebrations.
Manchester City: Ellie Roebuck, Lucy Bronze, Demi Stokes, Keira Walsh, Alex Greenwood, Steph Houghton, Sam Mewis, Rose Lavelle (sub Jess Park 70mins), Chloe Kelly (sub Janine Beckie 118mins), Caroline Weir, Ellen White (sub Georgia Stanway 63mins). Subs not used: Karen Bardsley, Karima Benameur Taieb, Gemma Bonner, Laura Coombs, Jill Scott, Esme Morgan.
Everton: Sandy MacIver, Ingrid Moe Wold, Danielle Turner, Megan Finnigan, Rikke Sevecke (sub Poppy Pattinson 90mins), Damaris Egurrola (sub Abbey-Leigh Stringer 99mins), Hayley Raso (sub Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah 76mins), Izzy Christiansen, Valerie Gauvin (sub Simone Magill 90mins), Lucy Graham (sub Molly Pike 90mins), Nicoline Sorensen. Subs not used: Tinja-Riikka Korpela, Maeva Clemaron, Grace Clinton.
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