Manchester City 2-2 (3-4) Leicester City: Penalty shootout success for the Foxes in Conti Cup contest

Coming into the match off the back of a derby day victory in the Barclays Women’s Super League at the weekend, Manchester City looked to build on that momentum as they faced the Foxes in their third Conti Cup clash of the season this evening. 

MCI: Keating; Casparij, Houghton, Morgan, Blakstad; Mace, Fowler, Coombs; Park, Castellanos, Kelly

LCI: Kop; Bott, Howard, Green, Nevin; Whelan, Palmer; Cayman, Tierney, Goodwin; Siemsen

Gareth Taylor made nine changes to the side that beat Manchester United at Old Trafford, whilst Willie Kirk made four to the side that drew 1-1 with Tottenham in the Women’s Super League.

The opening minutes were closely contested with both sides occupying possession, but Leicester’s Missy Goodwin proved to be a constant threat down the wing and a close chance for the visitors came through Siemsen finding herself one on one with Keating.

Struggling to play in their usual fluid style, City tried to break away through Mary Fowler who released Jess Park, only for her shot to be denied. The chances kept coming for the hosts as Kelly fired a curling strike towards the far corner with Kop only just able to deny the hosts the opener, tipping it round the post.

At the 40-minute mark, the Foxes were the ones to open the scoring with Goodwin’s relentless pressing proving the difference. With the danger not properly cleared by City’s back line, Janice Cayman cooly slid the ball into the back of the net.

The visitors doubled their advantage just three minutes later, building upon their momentum as Sophie Howard headed home from a corner, sending the Foxes into half-time with a two-goal lead.

Three substitutes were made by the hosts ahead of the second half with Greenwood, Hasegawa and Hemp replacing Blakstad, Mace and Park, as City looked to halve the deficit.

Gareth Taylor’s side began as they meant to go on with Deyna Castellano sparking the comeback, firing an unstoppable strike from outside the box down from the crossbar into the net.

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Reaching her double century, Demi Stokes was substituted on in the 63rd minute making her 200th appearance for the club as they searched for the equaliser, continuing to put the visitors’ defence under pressure.

Just moments later, substituted on in place of Goodwin, Cain had a chance to score the third for the Foxes, firing wide of the mark.

City flourished under the building pressure, finding the equaliser they were searching for in the 70th minute courtesy of Laura Coombs who confidently slotted the ball into the back of the net.

With three minutes left to play until the game would be sent to penalties, under pressure from Stokes, Cain went to the floor with the Foxes convinced a penalty should be awarded.

Neither side were able to find the winner before the full time whistle blew, sending the Conti Cup contest to the anticipation of penalties.

Both Keating and Leicester’s substitute goalkeeper Leitzig pulled off saves to take it to sudden death, but in the end the Foxes secured the bonus point as City’s captain, Houghton, was denied from the spot.

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Manchester City remain top of Group B of the Continental Cup with seven points from three matches. Manchester United sit in second place, only a point behind with the two sides set to meet in the final fixture of the group stages in January.