Home Australia There is no Sam Kerr, but Tottenham’s place in the FA Cup final ensures Matildas presence at Wembley

There is no Sam Kerr, but Tottenham’s place in the FA Cup final ensures Matildas presence at Wembley

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Tottenham's Charli Grant takes on Leicester City's Lena Petermann.

No Sam Kerr has meant Chelsea miss FA Women’s Cup glory this year, but another Matilda now has the chance to live the dream in the Wembley final against Tottenham Hotspur.

Charli Grant came on as a late substitute for Spurs when they were losing 1-0 to Leicester in the first semi-final against Leicester City.

The Australian defender helped them rally to a 2-1 victory with less than three minutes left in extra time.

Chelsea clearly missed injured goalscoring talisman Kerr, who has scored five goals in three wins at Wembley in the last three seasons, as they suffered their first defeat to Manchester United 2-1 in the second semi-final at Leigh Sports Village.

Charli Grant (left) came on in the 77th minute, when the Spurs trailed 1-0.(Getty Images: Plumb Images/Leicester City FC)

Chelsea were looking for a “quadruple” haul of trophies just a fortnight ago in coach Emma Hayes’ farewell season.

However, after a League Cup final defeat and now this shock setback, their season is in danger of unraveling without their best player, Kerr, who is recovering from an ACL injury.

But Grant will relish the chance to play in English women’s football’s biggest match after being introduced late in semi-final action following a recent spell in which she was benched by Spurs and given no game time.

Sidelined again, the 22-year-old from Adelaide was part of a triple substitution in the 77th minute with Spurs losing and their dream dying against a Leicester team that had led since the 12th minute when Jutta Rantala scored a beauty.

Grant helped provide further impetus as Robert Vilahamn’s side set up a dramatic finish when Jessica Naz equalized in the 83rd minute, capitalizing on a mistake by former Leicester Spurs captain Josie Green.

Then, with a penalty shootout looming after Rantala hit the crossbar from a free kick in extra time, substitute Martha Thomas proved to be Spurs’ latest hero, heading in her tenth goal of the game. season in the 118th minute to take them to their end. First Wembley final.

According to Ange Postecoglou, who has revitalized the men’s team, it was a historic day for the Spurs.

Before the semi-final, the Australian praised Swedish women’s boss Vilahamn, saying: “Rob and the girls have been exceptional this year. Rob came in and changed a lot of things, and I can see they are building a lot of things.” belief.

“It’s fantastic for them and also for our club.”

In the other semi-final, Spanish winger Lucía García put Manchester United ahead in the first minute before former Chelsea striker Rachel Williams added a second in the 23rd minute.

A goal from Lauren James before half-time gave Chelsea a lifeline and the visitors dominated the second half, although they again appeared to miss the vanguard of their Cup ace Kerr.

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