Conti Cup: London City Lionesses v West Ham
West Ham earn the win over London City Lionesses in thrilling penalty shootout
4 October 2022
WSL side West Ham came from two goals behind to draw 2-2 with second tier London City Lionesses in the sides first Conti Cup group match of the season. The Hammers went onto win a penalty shoot-out 10-9 to gain an extra point. Lois Heuchan and Sarah Ewens had scored either side of half time for London City Lionesses. Viviane Asseyi got a goal back for West Ham before Dagny Brynjarsdottir equalised deep into injury time at the end.
It was Lionesses head coach Mel Phillips 50th match in charge, and she made two changes from their Championship win over Durham last weekend with Lois Joel and Shanade Hopcroft dropping out and Grace Neville and Katie Kitching replacing them. Paul Konchesky made four changes from West Ham’s defeat to Chelsea in the league during the week with Izzy Atkinson, Jessica Ziu, Keira Flannery and Claudia Walker coming in for Kirsty Smith, Hawa Cissoko, Abbey-Leigh Stringer and Lisa Evans.
West Ham had the first opportunity of the game in the 4th minute when after a cleverly worked free kick, Risa Shimizu put in a dangerous cross but the referee blew for a foul on the goalkeeper. The hosts first chance came in the 10th minute but Ewens header was easily saved by Mackenzie Arnold.
Walker was denied from close range in the 15th minute as Lionesses keeper Shae Yanez made a great save tipping the ball over. Two minutes later and West Ham had another opportunity when Brynjarsdottir was just unable to get onto a nice through ball and Yanez came out and claimed.
Heuchan gave the home side took the lead in the 24th minute when a Neville cross missed everyone and found her at the far past where she finished from 6-yards.
Ziu played a lovely ball through to Evans, who had just come on as a substitute, but Harley Bennett got back to make a great tackle and put the ball behind in the 38th minute as West Ham looked to equalise before the break. They had another chance in first half injury time but after controlling the ball nicely, Walker but the ball over.
Half time substitute for the away side, Honoka Hayashi, had an opportunity early in the second half which was blocked.
In the 61st minute, London City Lionesses made it 2-0 with Neville getting her second assist of the afternoon when her cross was headed into the corner of the goal by the unmarked Ewens.
They had a chance to extend their lead further four minutes later but Heuchan’s long range effort was caught by Arnold.
West Ham got a goal back in the 66th minute when Asseyi headed in Thea Kyvag’s deflected cross from close range to score her first goal for the club after joining during the summer.
Jamie-Lee Napier put a shot wide for the Lionesses in the 73rd minute. A long ball from West Ham in the 87th minute found the head of Brynjarsdottir and Yanez had to dive to save the effort. Going into 6 minutes of additional time, the home side had a chance to seal victory but Muya saw her effort saved.
Four minutes into added time and West Ham equalised. Evans got away from a Lionesses player and put in a good cross which was met by Brynjarsdottir who headed into the net.
Both sides had opportunities even deeper into injury time with Smith sending a curling shot over for the Hammers, and Joel seeing her long-range shot for the home side easily claimed by Arnold. So, both sides take a point after the draw but there was still the drama of a penalty shoot-out to come to decide who gets another point.
West Ham went first and Kate Longhurst saw her spot kick saved. Shanade Hopcroft and Lily Agg scored for the Lionesses and Asseyi and Melisa Filis did the same for West Ham. Joel and Evans missed the next penalties for both sides. Hayley Nolan and Brynjarsdottir both scored which meant the home side would win if goalkeeper Yanez scored. Arnold saved it though and we went to sudden death.
Grace Fisk and Shimizu scored for the away side as did Atlanta Primus and Neville for the Lionesses. Smith saw her spot kick saved, and the hosts again missed the opportunity to win it when Bennett put her spot kick wide. After that there was a run of penalties scored, and some were really good, with Hayashi, Kyvag and Arnold finding the back of the net for the visitors and Lucy Shepherd, Muya and Carly Girasoli for London City Lionesses.
All eleven players for both sides had taken a penalty so we went back to the start, but the officials said the order could be changed. Filis and Hopcroft scored again, as did Brynjarsdottir for West Ham. Agg stepped up having to score but put her kick from 12-yards over meaning West Ham won the shoot-out and claimed two points.
The next Conti Cup games aren’t until the end of November for these sides with London City Lionesses at home to Brighton and West Ham also at home to Birmingham. The Lionesses are away to Coventry United in their next league came after the international break whilst West Ham are also away in the West Midlands to Aston Villa.
London City Lionesses: Yanez, Neville, Bennett, Girasoli, Nolan, Heuchan (Joel 87’), Rodgers (Agg 59’), Kitching (Hopcroft 59’), Napier (Muya 77’), Ewens (Shepherd 77’), Primus
Unused substitutes: Cull, Pedersen, Fitzgerald
Goals – Heuchan 24’, Ewens 61’
Booked – Nolan 52’
West Ham United: Arnold, Shimizu, Parker (Evans 33’), Fisk, Atkinson (Smith 58’), Ziu (Kyvag 58’), Longhurst, Flannery (Filis 67’), Brynjarsdottir, Walker (Hayashi 46’), Asseyi
Unused substitutes: Hillyerd, Stringer, Snerle, Houssein
Goals – Asseyi 66’, Brynjarsdottir 90’+4
Booked – Brynjarsdottir 37’
Referee – Kirsty Dowl