LFC Women into League Cup last eight after Sunderland stalemate

Match reportLFC Women into League Cup last eight after Sunderland stalemate

Published 15th December 2021

Liverpool FC Women booked their place in the Continental League Cup quarter-finals with a goalless draw at Sunderland AFC Ladies on Wednesday night.

Nothing could split the sides over the 90 minutes and it was Sunderland who claimed the bonus point – available during the group phase – with a 4-2 win in a penalty shootout.

But the single point was sufficient to confirm top spot in Group A for Matt Beard’s charges, ahead of the evening’s opponents, in their final fixture of the calendar year.

The opening half featured few chances at either end, Yana Daniels narrowly failing to connect with a Megan Campbell long pass and then a Taylor Hinds cross in the early stages.

After the visitors’ initial dominance of the ball, Sunderland began to grow into the game at Eppleton Colliery Welfare Ground and Reds goalkeeper Charlotte Clarke – making her debut – had to stop a Neve Herron effort from the edge of the box midway through the half.

Both Daniels and Charlotte Wardlaw fired strikes over the crossbar as Liverpool ended the period on the front foot, though without troubling the scoresheet.

Beard made a double substitution at the interval, introducing Leighanne Robe and Rhiannon Roberts from the bench, and the visitors continued their momentum when play resumed.

Roberts was the architect of the Reds’ first opportunity of the half, which again fell to Daniels, who guided her header from the former’s cross just wide of the Sunderland goal.

Back came the home team, however, and just past the hour Maria Farrugia whistled a shot just off target having stolen possession high in Liverpool territory.

The Reds came closest to breaking the deadlock and preventing a shootout with a series of chances in the final minutes of the 90, firstly as Ceri Holland sent the ball against the bar from distance.

Then, both Roberts and Holland saw attempts cleared off the line in quick succession, with Herron and Charlotte Potts the saviours for Sunderland to secure a draw.

That outcome was already enough to seal Liverpool’s qualification to the last eight and rendered their defeat in the shootout – following misses by Niamh Fahey and Rachel Furness – ultimately a footnote.

LFC Women: Clarke, Wardlaw (Roberts, 46), Fahey, Matthews, Campbell (Robe, 46), Hinds, Kearns, Holland, Humphrey (Hodson, 54), Furness, Daniels (Walters, 69).

Unused substitutes: Laws, Moore.

Published 15th December 2021