Manchester City and West Ham to compete in Women's FA Cup Final after wins over Chelsea and Reading
West Ham United Women reached the FA Cup final in dramatic fashion after they won 4-3 on penalties against Reading. Rachel Furness gave Reading the lead with a thumping header but Alisha Lehmann equalised for West Ham eight minutes later. Fara Williams had the best chances for Reading as she hit the post with a penalty and then missed a golden opportunity to get the winner in injury time when her shot whistled wide. Reading should have won the match in normal time and were also somehow not awarded two clear penalties.
The two sides could not be separated in extra-time so it went to penalties. West Ham's Cho So-hyun held her nerve, after Jade Moore had her penalty saved by Anna Moorhouse, to send West Ham to Wembley. This is a remarkable achievement for a side in their first professional season and West Ham have every right to believe that they can beat Manchester City when the sides compete in the final.
With one team already in the final, it was between Manchester City and Chelsea to determine who would join them. Nikita Parris had a brilliant opportunity to put Man City in front when she had a clear sight at goal from a tight angle after Ann-Katrin Berger hesitated but she dragged her effort wide.
Overall, Chelsea had the better chances in the game with Fran Kirby and Erin Kirby both hitting the woodwork in the space of three minutes. In the end, it was a cruel twist of fate that saw Man City book their place in the final. In the second of three stoppage time minutes, Chelsea defender Magdalena Eriksson inadvertently put Demi Stokes' cross into her own net to gift Man City a late winner against the run of play.
Manchester City will face West Ham in the final at Wembley on Saturday 4 May. The attendance at last year's FA Cup final between Arsenal and Chelsea was a record 45,423. Hopefully this year's final can match or better that as women's football continues to grow.