The centre of excellence u17 team watched by Pedro Losa beat Liverpool by four goals to three to set up a very interesting final against the Manchester United u17 team.
Anna Filbey, Laura Hooper, Jess N’Gunga and Lauren James were the goalscorers in a game dominated by the Arsenal Ladies girls for most of the game but ended up in a tense final minutes.
Filbey opened the scoring from a long range low shot before Liverpool equalised from a great cut by England u17 winger Charles for her centre forward to tap in. Hooper restored the lead with a another long range missile that went under the crossbar. Arsenal were leading 2-1 at half-time.
N’Gunga extended the Arsenal lead after following up a shot that the Liverpool goalkeeper pushed away instead of catching it while the defenders asked for an offside that the assistant referee denied. Lauren James scored a fine individual goal to give a 4-1 lead and Arsenal looked to close out the game. Until the 75th minute when Liverpool put one back from close range and then on the 80th minute (at the end of normal time) scored another rocket from 35 yards to set up a frantic 5 minutes of added time. It finished 4-3 and Arsenal will meet Man United who beat Stoke by six goals to nil in the other semi-final.
The FA created the FA Girls Youth Cup i.e the u17 National Cup prior to the season 2011/12 and Arsenal Ladies have reached four out of the five finals so far. They lost to Chelsea in 2011/12 in a penalty shoot-out. The following year, they came back and beat Blackburn with a Carla Humphrey hat-trick. Then in 2014/15 beat Aston Villa by two goals to one and will again be defending the trophy on the 16th of April at St George’s Park with a kick-off at 1pm.