A Lucy Bronze header in extra-time allowed Manchester City to beat Birmingham City 1-0 in The FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup Final and secured a league and cup double.
Birmingham’s game plan against the FA WSL champions was to challenge them physically, and they survived plenty of pressure in the first half, with Bronze looking dangerous down the left.
Blues goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger was excellent throughout, showing bravery at the feet of the City onslaught and unafraid to come off her line to sweep up.
Man City 1-0 (aet) Birmingham
Continental Tyres Cup Final
Sunday 2 October 2016
Academy Stadium, Manchester
Her fingers were stung by a Toni Duggan strike from range in the last minute of normal time, but she held it well as she waited for referee Rebecca Welch’s whistle.
Yet when Berger missed an extra-time corner Bronze was left clear at the back post to float the winning header past her and into an empty net.
City came close to doubling their lead when Tessel Middag’s blistering shot scraped the inside of the post after Izzy Christiansen’s excellent lay-off.
Birmingham may have felt they deserved a penalty when substitute Kosovare Asllani’s firm shoulder knocked Jess Carter over in the area but it wasn’t given.
Manchester City held on and lifted their second piece of silverware at the Academy Stadium in a week - and their second Conti Cup success in three years.
Manchester City (4-3-3): Marie Hourihan, Lucy Bronze, Jennifer Beattie, Steph Houghton, Demi Stokes, Jill Scott, Isobel Christiansen, Keira Walsh, Toni Duggan, Jane Ross, Nikita Parris.
Substitutes: Kosovare Asllani for Parris 65, Tessel Middag for Ross 84, Daphne Corboz for Duggan 106.
Substitute not used: Karen Bardsley.
Goal: Bronze 105.
Birmingham City (4-4-2): Ann-Katrin Berger, Meaghan Sargeant, Emily Westwood, Aoife Mannion, Jess Carter, Kerys Harrop, Andrine Hegerberg, Marisa Ewers, Melissa Lawley, Kirsty Linnett, Freda Ayisi.
Substitutes: Charlie Wellings for Linnett 75, Chloe Peplow for Hegerberg 91, Isabelle Linden for Ayisi 106.
Substitutes not used: Sophie Baggaley, Alex Windell, Abbey-Leigh Stringer, Corina Schroder.
Bookings: Ayisi 62, Harrop 101.
Referee: Rebecca Walsh