Soccer-City go the distance to overcome spirited Everton and retain Women's FA Cup

LONDON, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Manchester City retained the Women’s FA Cup with a 3-1 extra-time victory over Everton in the final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, finally bringing the 2019-20 season to a close after the competition was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Substitute Georgia Stanway scored the decisive strike in the 21st minute of extra time, squeezing the ball through the legs of Everton goalkeeper Sandy MacIver who had done well to keep her side in contention after the match ended 1-1.

Janine Beckie scored with the last kick of the game to put the icing on the cake and seal City’s third FA Cup triumph, though no fans were present to see it due to COVID-19 restrictions.

City dominated possession from kickoff and had early chances but Everton were able to soak up the pressure. However, their defensive discipline was broken shortly before halftime when American World Cup winner Sam Mewis headed in from a corner.

They could have made it 2-0 10 minutes after the break but Caroline Weir hit the post with a sliding shot and the follow-up effort by Chloe Kelly was brilliantly tipped over by MacIver.

That proved decisive as Everton went up the other end and forced a corner, from which French striker Valerie Gauvin scored with the back of her head having jumped at the near post. It was the 24-year-old’s sixth goal since her move from Montpellier in August.

Both sides had a flurry of chances near the end of the second half with Weir hitting the woodwork again for City with a curling shot from the edge of the area.

However, the match went to extra time where Stanway, who also scored in last year’s final, and Beckie grabbed the glory. (Reporting by Christian Radnedge Editing by Clare Fallon)