Soccer-Manchester United down Chelsea, Spurs beat Leicester in women's FA Cup semis


Soccer Football - Women's FA Cup - Semi Final - Manchester United v Chelsea - Leigh Sports Village, Leigh, Britain - April 14, 2024 Manchester United's Melvine Malard shoots at goal Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

(Reuters) - Manchester United will meet Tottenham Hotspur in the Women's FA Cup final on May 12 after they beat Chelsea for the first time in their history and Spurs came back from a goal down to defeat Leicester City 2-1 in the semi-finals on Sunday.

United came into the game never having beaten Chelsea since the women's side was formed in 2018, but Spanish winger Lucia Garcia showed no signs of being weighed down by that history as she put her side ahead in the first minute.

Former Chelsea forward Rachel Williams added a second for United in the 23rd minute, but a Lauren James goal before the break threw Chelsea a desperately-needed lifeline and the Blues went on to dominate the second half.

With her position as England's number one threatened by Chelsea keeper Hannah Hampton, United's Mary Earps pulled off a string of superb saves to keep the home side in it, prompting wild celebrations at Leigh Sports Village at the final whistle.

Earlier in London, Leicester looked to be headed for Wembley thanks to a 12th-minute strike from Jutta Rantala, but Jessica Naz kept her cool to grab the equaliser in the 83rd minute to force extra time.

With the two sides deadlocked and penalties looming, Martha Thomas netted the winner for Spurs with a looping header in the 118th minute to send her side through to the FA Cup final for the first time.

(Reporting by Philip O'Connor; editing by Clare Fallon)

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