Manchester City needed a fortunate late own goal to meet West Ham in the final at Wembley after opponents and current holder Chelsea had twice hit the woodwork.
City and Chelsea are 2nd and 3rd respectively in the Women’s Super League and it was no surprise that the interval was scoreless as both sides cancelled each other out.
Chelsea started the brighter almost opened the scoring in the opening minute after a poor clearance by the City defence fell to the feet of Erin Cuthbert who could only his the shot straight at keeper Karen Bardsley from close range. In fact it was the Blue who made all the early running until City gradually regained their composure.
Nikita Parris had first City’s shot on target then Caroline Weir had an effort blocked. But the home side were giving away possession and almost paid the price as Fran Kirby broke clear but was denied by Bardsley’s outstretched leg.
Back came the home side. Georgia Stanway shot wide before City had their best chance of the half. Chelsea keeper Ann-Katrin Berger lost possession and Parris pounced but from an acute angle rolled the ball wide of an open goal.
The England Women’s boss Phil Neville was in attendance to cast an eye over some of the payers who would be going to the Women’s World Cup this June in France and saw a distinctly cagey start from both teams as the second period commenced.
Chelsea almost broke the deadlock but Maren Mjelde free kick was deflected narrowly wide. City responded but failed to make the most of some promising situations.
The Blues then hit the woodwork through Kirby’s header from Cuthbert’s flighted free kick. Moments later the post came to City’s rescue as Cuthbert hit the inside of the post before rolling to safety.
Those two incidents prompted a City response and Berger, under pressure, almost fumbled the ball into her own net.
But just as extra time loomed City booked their place in the final against West Ham in the most fortuitous of circumstances. Demi Stokes flung in a hopeful cross to the near post and Eriksson deflected the ball past the keeper to break Chelsea hearts.
Man City: 1 (Eriksson og 90)
Venue: Academy Stadium