Football: Chelsea win Women's FA Cup with Kerr strike in extra time

It is the 11th major trophy for Chelsea under Emma Hayes since the Briton took charge in 2012. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS) - Chelsea retained the Women's FA Cup on Sunday (May 15) with a 3-2 extra-time win over Manchester City, completing the double this season after winning the Super League title last week.

City had twice equalised, first through Lauren Hemp after Sam Kerr's opener and, near the end, Hayley Raso cancelled out Erin Cuthbert's screamer. However, Kerr struck early in the first period of extra time to give Chelsea their fourth FA Cup.

It is the 11th major trophy for Chelsea under Emma Hayes since the Briton took charge in 2012.

The holders opened the scoring around the half-hour mark at a wet Wembley with a header from Australian striker Kerr after a deep cross from Millie Bright. But, they were pegged back by a beautiful finish from City forward Hemp shortly before halftime.

Chelsea midfielder Cuthbert thundered a long-range effort in off the crossbar around the hour mark to retake the lead and that looked like it would be enough to win as the clock ticked down.

However, Gareth Taylor's City never gave in and in the 89th minute a long cross-field ball from City's Alex Greenwood was taken down well by Australian Raso who ran at goal and fired in the equaliser to take the game to extra time.

City pressed for a winner but were undone nine minutes into the first period when Kerr picked up the ball in her own half and ran at goal before seeing her shot take a big deflection off Greenwood and trickle in.

Chelsea then kept City at bay to win a second successive FA Cup in front of 49,094 fans, a record attendance for the final beating the previous mark of 45,423 set in 2018.

"I don't score goals like that but it's an amazing honour, Cuthbert told the BBC.

"I thought it was going to be a winning goal and it wasn't, Sam's was just as important, it took a deflection and it doesn't matter what the goal looks like as long as it goes in. If they go in like that at Wembley I'm happy.

"So many times this year we have been faced with adversity, Covid, injuries, we've had to use the squad. We used the squad today and I'm proud to end it on such a high."

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