Arsenal Women had to come from behind to win a dramatic semi-final against Reading in the WSL Continental Tyres Cup on Sunday.
Arsenal started quickly, and it took less than five minutes for Beth Mead to open the scoring. It was a tap-in for the striker, turning home Danielle Carter’s cross for 1-0.
Just as quickly as the Gunners took the lead, it was gone. Only two minutes later, Brooke Chaplen curled in from the edge of the area for a Reading equaliser.
Vivianne Miedema and Jordan Nobbs both went close to restoring the lead over the next 10 minutes. Then Chaplen almost got her second in a very eventful opening period. Fortunately Van Veenendaal was on hand to save the Reading player’s effort.
Danielle Van de Donk was the next to have a go for the Gunners, but again her effort from the edge of the box went wide. That was all for the opening 45 minutes, and the two sides went in level.
The second-half started in a similar way. Moloney denied Danielle Carter a goal this time, after the Arsenal player nicked the ball off a defender. The Reading keeper had to be alert again after Van de Donk found Miedema in the box with a backheel.
Unfortunately, Reading made the breakthrough with just under 20 minutes to go. Lauren Bruton finessed the ball past the Arsenal goalkeeper for a 2-1 lead, leaving the Gunners without much time to respond.
Just like in the first half though, an equaliser followed not long afterwards. Miedema scored with a calm finish in the 80th minute to level things up again.
With the wind in their sails, Arsenal bagged another. This time Jordan Nobbs was the scorer, poking it home for 3-2 after Moloney failed to deal with a cross. Suddenly the Gunners had the lead, and they were the ones who just needed to hold on for a few more minutes.
They managed to do so, and booked a place in the cup final. Congratulations to the team and good luck to them in that match in March!
Starting XI: Van Veenendaal, Mitchell, Williamson, Rose, Janssen, Evans, Nobbs, Van de Donk, Carter, Meidema, Mead
Substitutes: Moorhouse, McCabe, Quinn (for Carter), O’Reilly (for Rose), James, Hinds, Filbe