A-ROD DOWNS REIGN ONCE AGAIN

The Football League Paper - - WOMEN'S FOOTBALL WEEKLY - By James Gray

FOR­MER Ar­se­nal boss Laura Har­vey missed out on her first Na­tional Women’s Soc­cer League ti­tle by the nar­row­est of mar­gins for the sec­ond year in a row, as Seat­tle Reign were beaten 1-0 in the Cham­pi­onship fi­nal.

Reign were up­set by two goals from FC Kansas City’s Amy Ro­driguez in the 2014 fi­nal... and when they faced the same op­po­si­tion again this time around, a 78th-minute strike from Ro­driguez was all that sep­a­rated the sides.

Har­vey won two FA Women’s Su­per League ti­tles and two FA Cups with Ar­se­nal, but the now two-time NWSL coach of the year was philo­soph­i­cal about fall­ing at the fi­nal hur­dle once again.

“When we watch the game back, we’ll be dis­ap­pointed in the way we played,” said Har­vey.

“Last year, it was gutwrench­ing be­cause we played so well. But we’re al­ready re­flect­ing on the game and pick­ing out things that we could have been bet­ter at.

“The longer the game goes on and you’re just not get­ting those breaks, you get the sense it’s not go­ing to be your night

“We looked like we were get­ting more dan­ger­ous as the half went on. When you get into the 70th minute, into the 75th minute, can you take your chances?

“Un­for­tu­nately we couldn’t do that, and we couldn’t cre­ate enough. They took theirs and that was prob­a­bly it.”

Ge­or­gia Stan­way scored five first-half goals as Eng­land Un­der17s beat Croa­tia 13-0 in the qual­i­fy­ing round for the 2016 Eu­ros.

Eng­land, Poland, Croa­tia and hosts Es­to­nia are cur­rently com­pet­ing in a mini­tour­na­ment, with the top two ad­vanc­ing to play in the 24-team elite round of qual­i­fi­ca­tion.

Stan­way wasn’t the only five-star show­ing. Alessia Russo grabbed five of her own.

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