Janice Cayman

Late Heartbreak As Foxes Exit FA Cup

A late goal in extra-time ended LCFC Women's Adobe Women's FA Cup run as Tottenham Hotspur progress to the final in May.

Jutta Rantala opened the scoring on Sunday afternoon at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium but an equaliser from Jessica Naz sent the game to extra-time, before Martha Thomas' looping header confirmed victory for Spurs.

There were no changes to the Leicester starting XI that were held to a draw 2-2 with Aston Villa prior to the international break, with Lena Petermann leading the line and Lize Kop retaining her space in goal, despite the return of Janina Leitzig to fitness.

Despite Spurs having the first attempt on target, which the Dutch shot-stopper managed to get behind, it was the Foxes who opened the scoring through top goalscorer Rantala.

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Jutta Rantala

Jutta Rantala opened the scoring in the semi-final.

Picking up the ball on the right wing, the Finnish forward cut inside and hit a spectacular effort past the helpless Becky Spencer, breaking the deadlock, and giving the Leicester fans an early cheer in the spring sunshine.

Leicester were sitting with a high defensive line which Tottenham tried to break against to get back into the game, but the next close call at either end came from Janice Cayman, who had Spencer scrambling before the ball landed on the roof of the net.

The final effort of the first half fell to Deanne Rose, who broke in behind with her electric pace, but couldn't slow her feet down, as she fired wide inside the box.

In the first 15 minutes of the second half, both teams were seeing chances, Rantala trying to play in Petermann but a vital block came in before the German striker could get a shot away.

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Lena Petermann

Fighting hard at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Heading into the final five minutes, Spurs equalised, pouncing on a mistake at the break from Josie Green which allowed Naz to run through on goal and find the bottom corner.

The score ended a goal apiece and an extra half an hour was confirmed in London, in which the Foxes did well in the early stages to calm the football down. They then threatened first when Rantala saw her free-kick hit the underside of the crossbar but stay out.

In the dying stages, the final chance of the game fell to Spurs' top scorer Thomas who, off the bench, was able to loop a header over Kop and break Leicester hearts.

The Foxes will be hurting following a loss in such fashion, but reaching a semi-final is a positive sign of the improvement within the team, and the East Midlands outfit will keep working to make sure this isn't their last chance on the big stage.

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