Ellen White fires Birmingham to FA Cup final in shootout win against Chelsea

Guardian sport
Birmingham’s Ellen White celebrates scoring the winning penalty against Chelsea in the women’s FA Cup semi-final in Solihull. Photograph: Tony Marshall/The FA via Getty Images

Ellen White scored the penalty that took Birmingham City Ladies into the women’s FA Cup final after a tense shootout with Chelsea in Solihull.

The England forward kept her composure to send Birmingham to Wembley on 13 May after a 4-2 spot-kick success. Eni Aluko and Millie Bright missed their penalties, which meant Chelsea were denied a third consecutive trip to Wembley, while Birmingham will make their second final appearance. They beat Chelsea in the 2012 final.

The score was 1-1 after extra time, a curling effort from the midfielder Drew Spence having brought Chelsea level after Meaghan Sargeant’s 64th-minute header had put Birmingham ahead.

“It’s an incredible feeling,” the Birmingham manager, Marc Skinner, said. “I was tremendously proud regardless of what happened in the shootout. To take a team like Chelsea to extra time with all the pedigree they have was an achievement in itself. The way we kept our heads up after Chelsea equalised was fantastic.”

Birmingham, who ended last season fourth in the Women’s Super League 1, will now attempt to stop Manchester City from recording a league and cup double. Skinner, whose side beat the holders Arsenal on their run to the final, said: “Manchester City are a brilliant side and we know just how stern the test awaiting us is.

“However, we do not see ourselves as underdogs against anyone. We have a project here and know how we are going about things. Confidence is high. We’ve had to do it the hard way, seeing off Arsenal and Chelsea, so facing Man City is the same kind of task.” Guardian sport

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