Soccer  

Brighton & Hove Albion 3-3 Liverpool: Rachel Furness header ends Reds’ six-match losing run

Rachel Furness scores for Liverpool against Brighton in the WSL
Rachel Furness’ header in added time ensured Liverpool avoided defeat in the WSL for the first time since 20 September

Rachel Furness headed a 92nd-minute equaliser as Liverpool ended their six-match losing run in a thriller at Brighton.

England newcomer Katie Robinson’s stunning long-range strike for the hosts was the pick of the goals as Elisabeth Terland and Danielle Carter also netted after Missy Bo Kearns’ opener for Liverpool during the first half.

Shanice van de Sanden’s half-time introduction proved a turning point for Liverpool, nodding in with 14 minutes remaining and setting up Furness’ last-gasp leveller.

In the 42nd match of the campaign, the first top-flight game of 2022-23 to end without a victory leaves Liverpool in 10th place, three points above bottom side Leicester.

Brighton are three points further clear in ninth and remain unbeaten in two matches under interim head coach Amy Merricks.

Van de Sanden sparks Reds on her return

With only one more goal than lowest WSL scorers Leicester at the start of the afternoon, Liverpool’s surrender of their lead within four minutes was a worrying blow for a team in search of their first points since their opening-day win over Chelsea.

Melissa Lawley showed vision and speed to break free inside the penalty area and fizz in an inviting delivery for Kearns to finish, providing a welcome addition to their total of three goals this season.

That meagre tally made it seem unlikely the visitors would find the firepower to end their miserable run once they had fallen two goals behind. But the entrance of substitute Van de Sanden proved pivotal on the Netherlands legend’s return from an achilles problem.

Former Brighton regular Emma Koivisto also went close for the Reds, who were denied by the crossbar as they avoided a third consecutive defeat in this fixture in dramatic fashion.

Matt Beard’s side now have the chance to move away from trouble when they visit Reading, who are level on points with them, on Thursday.

Robinson strike marks memorable week

Robinson, 20, will not forget the most memorable week of her career so far, playing a starring role as the Seagulls made it eight goals in two games since the 8-0 defeat to Tottenham that signalled the end of former manager Hope Powell’s reign in their previous home match.

Robinson’s impressive performances were rewarded by an England debut against Norway on Tuesday.

Merricks said in the build-up to this game that Robinson would be buoyed rather than distracted by her Lionesses bow, and the youngster’s challenging start to her senior career will surely enhance her mood.

After an ACL injury kept her out of the 2020-21 season, the former England youth international signed a new contract at Brighton, made her WSL debut and also had a loan spell at Charlton earlier this year.

The patience Robinson and her club showed has paid off, and her shot that looped over Eartha Cumings’ outstretched arm was as destined for the highlights reels as it was for the roof of the net.

Line-ups

Brighton Women

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Walsh
  • 15Green
  • 20Williams
  • 16Kullberg
  • 3Pattinson
  • 22Robinson
  • 10Olme
  • 18CarterSubstituted forBanceat 81′minutes
  • 7Sarri
  • 9LeeSubstituted forConnollyat 45′minutes
  • 11TerlandSubstituted forFoxat 90+3′minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Fox
  • 8Connolly
  • 12Bance
  • 14Park
  • 23Jarvis
  • 24Ferguson
  • 40Startup

Liverpool Women

Formation 3-4-3

  • 21Cumings
  • 25FlahertyBooked at 53mins
  • 5FaheySubstituted forWardlawat 69′minutesBooked at 87mins
  • 28CampbellSubstituted forHollandat 38′minutes
  • 2KoivistoSubstituted forRobertsat 90′minutes
  • 7KearnsSubstituted forFurnessat 69′minutes
  • 6MatthewsBooked at 56mins
  • 12Hinds
  • 20DanielsSubstituted forvan de Sandenat 45′minutes
  • 24Stengel
  • 11Lawley

Substitutes

  • 3Robe
  • 4Roberts
  • 8Wardlaw
  • 10Furness
  • 17Humphrey
  • 18Holland
  • 19van de Sanden
  • 22Kirby

Referee:
Abigail Byrne

Attendance:
2,980

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