Post-Match Report

Ladies: Seattle 1-1 Arsenal - Report

Ladies: Seattle Reign 1-1 Arsenal Ladies

Seattle Reign -

Memorial Stadium
Friendly Match
Friendly Match
  Seattle Reign
      
              0 (17)
          
   crest
Seattle Reign
0 (17)
1 1
  Arsenal Women
      
                  Natalia (64 pen)
            
   crest
Arsenal Women
Natalia (64 pen)

By Lloyd Webb

Summary

Arsenal Ladies drew 1-1 with Seattle Reign at Memorial Stadium in the first-ever match between a National Women’s Soccer League team and a Women’s Super League club.

The historic fixture did not get off to the best start for the Gunners, though, as Leah Williamson was stretchered off just eight minutes into the clash.

Things soon went from bad to worse for Pedro Martinez Losa’s side, as Beverly Yanez gave the hosts the lead a curling finish before the break.

Arsenal restarted on the front foot, and soon equalised when Natalia coolly slotted home from the spot after Vicky Losada had been hauled down in the box.

There were late chances for the Gunners to secure a famous win, but Jordan Nobbs and Danielle van de Donk were unable to beat the in-form Haley Kopmeyer and had to settle for a draw in Seattle.

Setting the scene

Losa made six changes to the side that lifted a record 14th Women’s FA Cup at Wembley with a 1-0 victory against Chelsea.

Jodie Taylor made her long-awaited Arsenal debut in the country she arrived from, while Jemma Rose, Marta Corredera, Williamson, Dominique Janssen and Emma Byrne also started.

Elsewhere, ex-Arsenal manager Laura Harvey, who won a hat-trick of league titles, two FA Cups and a Continental Cup during her time in north London, started former Gunner and BBC Women’s Player of the Year Kim Little in midfield for Seattle.

First half

Following Williamson’s injury, the opening chance of the game fell to Paige Nielsen, who raced through on goal to force Byrne into a fine reflex save.

The hosts continued to mount pressure though and took the lead in the 17th minute when Yanez curled a wonderful strike into the top corner from outside the box, after Lindsay Elston had done well to ride Byrne’s challenge.

Harvey’s side continued their dominance until half-time and Arsenal were fortunate to only go into the break one goal behind, as Little and Nielsen both smashed good chances over the crossbar.

Second half

The Gunners came out in rejuvenated after a difficult 45 minutes, and almost levelled moments after the restart when Nobbs’ 10-yard strike was spectacularly tipped over by substitute Kopmeyer.

Losa’s side continued to press and were rewarded for their efforts when Natalia equalised from the penalty spot after Losada had been brought down by Kendall Fletcher in the box on the hour mark.

Seattle were indebted to Kopmeyer 15 minutes from the end, as the goalkeeper produced another fine save to deny Nobbs from a few yards out following some lovely build-up play.

Substitute Van de Donk’s dipping effort from 30 yards-out gave the hosts a late scare, but the friendly finished deadlocked at the end of an well-contested match.

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