Man Utd sink Charli Grant’s Spurs, lift Women’s FA Cup

    Matildas defender Charli Grant’s Wembley dream has been shattered as Manchester United hammered her Tottenham side 4-0 to win the Women’s FA Cup for the first time.

    Grant had hoped to join the elite group of Australian men and women who’ve won the biggest knock-out competition in the English game but by the time she was brought on as a 68th minute substitute, the ambition was already shattered with Spurs trailing 3-0.

    It wouldn’t have been the scenario the 22-year-old would have hoped for as she became the 11th Australian to play in either a men or women’s FA Cup final after Joe Marston, Craig Johnston, Taryn Rockall, Tim Cahill, Harry Kewell, Mile Jedinak, Hayley Raso, Steph Catley, Caitlin Foord, Sam Kerr and Alanna Kennedy.

    By the time she took the field, there was no chance of her joining Kerr, who had lifted the Cup in the last three seasons with Chelsea, nor Rockall, who won with Arsenal in 1998/99, as the only Australian Women’s FA Cup champions.

    And it only got worse as United, who had been the victim of Kerr’s brilliance in the previous final, went on to add a fourth as they sealed their first trophy since the team reformed in 2018.

    United’s early dominance had been cemented by a stunning strike from Ella Toone on the strike of halftime, with a header from Rachel Williams and two goals from Spanish forward Lucia Garcia after the break sealing the comprehensive victory in front of 76,082 fans in the Wembley sunshine.

    Grant, who had been among a group of high-flyers along with Spurs men’s team boss Ange Postecoglou invited by the Australian government to a Buckingham Palace garden party, had hoped to end her big week by earning selection in the starting XI.

    But she had to settle for a place on the bench, which has often been the case since she joined the club in January, and could only watch from the sidelines in dismay as United controlled proceedings.

    Last month, Spurs had drawn 2-2 with United in the Women’s Super League, but they seemed to freeze on the big occasion, not recording a single shot on target and crumbling after the interval.

    It was summed up by United’s third goal, a gift from Spurs keeper Becky Spencer. She mishandled a clearance and directed her pass straight to the grateful Garcia, who slotted home easily.

    “Wembley is always special. Last year we spoke as a group and said ‘one day that will be ours’ and today’s the day so I’m buzzing,” United and England goalkeeper Mary Earps said.

    It was the first time since Birmingham’s victory in 2012 that the Cup hadn’t been won by one of either Arsenal, Chelsea or Manchester City.

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