Manchester United beat Brighton in thriller to reach Women's FA Cup final

Rachel Williams celebrates her dramatic winner for Manchester United against Brighton in the Women's FA Cup semifinals.
Ashley Allen/Getty Images

Manchester United bounced back from conceding a first-half own goal to snatch a thrilling 3-2 win over Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday and book their spot in the Women's FA Cup final at Wembley, where they will face Chelsea or Aston Villa next month.

Rachel Williams scored an 89th minute winner to defeat a resilient Brighton team and send United to their first FA Cup final.

Favourites coming into the semifinal, United had twice forced Brighton goalkeeper Lydia Williams to make key saves before the hosts were stunned by the Seagulls. A quick counter turned the game on its head when Mary Earps awkwardly palmed Veatriki Sarri's cross into her own net 10 minutes before the half-time break.

United needed just 48 second-half seconds to draw level when Leah Galton side-footed Ona Batlle's neat pass beyond Williams. The team on top, the Red Devils took the lead 25 minutes later when Alessia Russo slammed Katie Zelem's through ball against the underside of the bar and in.

But Brighton, in their first match under their fourth manager of the season, Melissa Phillips, continued to battle away and dug out an equaliser 15 minutes from time when substitute Danielle Carter got the better of marker Millie Turner to fire low beyond Earps.

With the match heading for extra time to decide the first of the FA Cup finalists, United forced a turnover in front of their own box to break against a Brighton team that had attacker Katie Robinson down and needing treatment. Zelem fed the ball through to second-half substitute Williams, who dashed through the advanced defence and sent the ball into the back of the net to decide the tie in dramatic fashion.

Manchester United will face the winner of Sunday's second semifinal between Aston Villa and Chelsea in the final at Wembley on May 14. Brighton, who are currently in the WSL relegation zone, will have to quickly shift their focus back to league safety.

Information from Reuters was used in this report.