Ria Percival’s stoppage time free-kick from deep snatched a Barclays FA Women’s Super League point for Tottenham in a 1-1 draw with Manchester United WFC.
Alessia Russo’s thunder-strike at the end of the first half had put United in front at The Hive, but late drama saw Spurs grab a well-deserved point from a close encounter on Saturday.
Starting 4th and 5th respectively, an even contest was to be expected and true to form, there was little between the two sides.
Spurs forward Jess Naz had a good chance for the hosts in the opening minutes, her looping shot denied by Mary Earps, punching away on her 50th appearance in goal for United.
Russo was frequently involved in United’s promising attacks, only denied in the 20th minute by Cho So-hyun’s critical block.
In the 35th minute, the English forward forced Tinja-Riikka Korpela into a good save, with Spurs defender Ria Percival was in the right place to block Leah Galton’s follow-up.
But Russo didn’t have to wait much longer to break the deadlock and did so at the start of five minutes of first-half stoppage time.
She wriggled her way free into the Tottenham box, before rifling a superb shot into the roof of the net for her third goal of the season to give United the lead.
Spurs responded in the second half and Kit Graham’s 65th minute shot from distance looked it was going in the top corner until it was tipped over the bar in a great save from England stopper Earps.
United could have had a second with two minutes to play, but substitute striker Martha Thomas struck over from the edge of the box.
In the third of five minutes added on, Percival’s set-piece went into the box, and deceived everyone in the box – including Korpela who had gone forward - to earn Spurs a deserved point in the most dramatic of circumstances.
After the game, Mary Earps, Manchester United goalkeeper, said: “It’s gutting. There’s no other word, really. The set piece was a really good delivery, to be fair to the girl who hit it.
“But we need to defend that much better. If we see that out, we win one-nil. That’s the difference.
“You’re playing on a bobbly pitch, and with the wind swirling, it’s difficult for us to get out. It’s not our typical style of play. We have to find another way. Yeah, we took a point, but I think we should be taking three from these types of games.
“It feels like we lost the game. If it happens earlier in the game, maybe I’d feel different about it, but to happen so close to the end, it feels like a loss.”
Manchester Utd WFC next face Everton away at 12.30pm on Sunday 14 November.
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