Tottenham 2-1 Leicester City: Martha Thomas scores extra-time winner

Tottenham 2-1 Leicester City: Martha Thomas scores extra-time winner


Martha Thomas joined from Manchester United this summer and is Tottenham’s top goalscorer this season

Tottenham booked their place in the Women’s FA Cup final for the first time with a dramatic victory over Leicester City at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Substitute Martha Thomas’ looping header deep in extra time gave Tottenham victory, having come from behind in London.

Jutta Rantala had put Leicester ahead early with a wonderful long-range strike in normal time, before Jessica Naz equalised, racing through to slot it past goalkeeper Lize Kop.

Buoyed by a vibrant home crowd, Tottenham continued to push for a winner and they almost found it when Thomas’ poked effort was superbly saved by Kop.

Forward Rantala’s dipping free-kick was then tipped on to the underside of the crossbar by Tottenham goalkeeper Becky Spencer, but Thomas eventually dealt the final blow in a pulsating encounter.

It was a frenetic match, with plenty of chances for both sides, but Spurs came out on top to create history for their club, and they will meet Manchester United or Chelsea in the final at Wembley on 12 May.

History made as Spurs reach Wembley showpiece

This was a massive day for both clubs, with neither having reached this stage of the competition before, and they had avoided last season’s finalists in the draw.


Leicester put on free bus services to London for their travelling supporters, with six coaches leaving early on Sunday morning, while Tube stations and trains across north London were bustling with Tottenham fans.


It was the hosts who made the strongest start, Grace Clinton and Celin Bizet linking up to create two big chances which the Norwegian could not capitalise on.

Minutes later Rantala punished Spurs as she cut inside off the right and drilled powerfully past Spencer for the opener.


Both teams continued to create chances – Tottenham’s Eveliina Summanen was a threat, while Leicester had a golden opportunity to make it 2-0 when captain Sam Tierney’s effort was blocked from close range.

Deanne Rose’s pace gave the visitors an outlet up front but, in Clinton, Bethany England and substitute Thomas, Tottenham always looked dangerous.

That eventually paid off when Naz pounced on an error from Josie Green for the equaliser, and Tottenham carried that momentum into extra time, just like they did when England found a late equaliser in their quarter-final victory over Manchester City.

In manager Robert Vilahamn’s first season in charge, this is a phenomenal achievement for Tottenham and their fans celebrated wildly at the full-time whistle, jumping to their feet to dance while the DJ played club anthems and players hugged each other.


Leicester City, managed by interim boss Jennifer Foster following the sacking of Willie Kirk amid an allegation of a player-coach relationship, have battled through a tough few months for the club and pushed Tottenham all the way.

Line-ups

Tottenham Women

Formation 4-3-3

  • 22Spencer
  • 29Neville
  • 4James-TurnerBooked at 19mins
  • 21Bühler
  • 6NildénSubstituted forGrantat 77′minutes
  • 25SummanenBooked at 64minsSubstituted forAhtinenat 77′minutes
  • 24SpenceSubstituted forGrahamat 67′minutes
  • 8ClintonSubstituted forVinbergat 77′minutes
  • 7Naz
  • 9England
  • 14Bizet IldhusøySubstituted forThomasat 58′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Votíková
  • 2Grant
  • 5Bartrip
  • 11Petzelberger
  • 13Vinberg
  • 16Graham
  • 17Thomas
  • 20Ahtinen
  • 77Wang

Leicester City Women

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 23Kop
  • 4BottBooked at 90mins
  • 14GreenBooked at 43minsSubstituted forThibaudat 90′minutes
  • 5Howard
  • 11Cayman
  • 15TakaradaSubstituted forPalmerat 98′minutes
  • 8Rantala
  • 3TierneySubstituted forPelganderat 59′minutes
  • 29MomikiBooked at 32minsSubstituted forWhelanat 90′minutes
  • 7RoseSubstituted forO’Brienat 78′minutes
  • 9Petermann

Substitutes

  • 1Leitzig
  • 6Palmer
  • 10Whelan
  • 17Thibaud
  • 18Pelgander
  • 19Siemsen
  • 20Goodwin
  • 27O’Brien
  • 32Baker

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