WSL: Leicester hold West Ham to 1-1 draw

Leicester City failed to break their six-match winless streak in their last Women’s Super League outing against West Ham United. The Foxes traveled to Dagenham on Sunday and had to settle for a 1-1 draw against their near table rivals.

Riko Ueki took an early lead but her effort was canceled out by Sophie Howard later in the first half. Despite enjoying most of the possession, Leicester could not beat an inspired Mackenzie Arnold and the spoils were shared.

Starting with the XIs

West Ham

Arnold; Smith, Shimizu, Tysiak, Snerle, Ueki, Ziu, Denton, Hayashi, Asseyi, Cissoko

Leicester City

Leitzig; Tierney, Howard, Rantala, Petermann, Cayman, Ale, Takarada, Thibaud, Goodwin, Momiki

how did it go

Both teams were quick out of the blocks in this bottom clash, with West Ham taking an early lead. Ueki finished with a low pass past Janina Leitzig, catching a deep pass from Honoka Hayashi. The Irons then had two more chances in quick succession, both through striker Vivienne Asseyi. The first was a volley that Leitzig smothered and the second came via a right-footed curler from the edge of the box that couldn’t bend enough to beat the German.

Leicester found the equalizer in the 36th minute as Howard nodded home a powerful header from a Jutta Rantala corner, slotting it between the front post and Arnold for her first of the season.

A quiet second half

The referee stopped the match with 25 total fouls. With little on the line, but with pride, he didn’t seem to deserve that much intervention from the referee. Leicester captain Sam Tierney, who recently earned his UEFA B coaching badge, made it clear he disagreed with a few decisions.

The Japanese contingent from Leicester settled in well. Soari Takarada’s volley from a Missy O’Brien knockdown was expertly parried to safety by Arnold. Yuka Momiki also looked a constant threat for the home side but could not convert a chance from six yards as again Arnold was there to deny the Leicester striker.

The latter stages of the match saw both teams with chances to steal the points. A couple of quick West Ham counter-attacks were set up brilliantly by substitute CJ Bott in the second half.

Leicester applied the pressure but couldn’t get striker Lena Petermann on the ball to have a clear chance, something they will need to work on to score more goals in the future. The match ended 1-1 after a frantic but toothless second half.

It follows

The result leaves Leicester in 10th place in the WSL table, three points ahead of 11th-placed West Ham. The final games of the season will see Leicester host Liverpool and West Ham travel to Tottenham Hotspur.

MORE from her soccer center:

  • WSL: Man City’s title hopes take major blow in Arsenal loss
  • WSL: Chelsea fire still burning for title lifeline
  • Issy Hobson: Everton’s 16-year-old superstar making WSL history

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