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HomeULTIMATE SPORTSMacario Fires Blues Into Final Four At Everton

Macario Fires Blues Into Final Four At Everton

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Substitute Catarina Macario scored three minutes after her second-half introduction to send Chelsea through to the FA Cup semi-finals with a 1-0 victory over Everton at Walton Hall Park.

The United States international was still recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament issue when she signed for the Blues last summer but made an emphatic first impression when she scored on her debut in last week’s Women’s Super League victory over Leicester.

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Emma Hayes made six changes from Thursday’s Conti Cup semi-final victory over Manchester City, but Chelsea failed to find an opener in a cagey first half.

The Blues came closest with a crossbar-clipping header by Nathalie Bjorn before the centre-back was forced off and replaced by Niamh Charles in the 14th minute.

The Toffees had their chances too, Kathrine Kuhl forcing Zecira Musovic into a good save with a sharp effort but could not make anything of a series of set-pieces.

Chelsea wasted their best chance to take the lead before the break when Jelena Cankovic curled wide from a promising position following some good work by Johanna Kaneryd to release the Serbia international.

Macario, one of four second-half substitutions for Chelsea, finally broke the deadlock in the 66th minute when she swept home Aggie Beever-Jones’ cut-back.

Katja Snoeijs was inches away from squaring things up, but Chelsea clung on to keep alive their chances of becoming just the second English side in history to secure a quadruple, with Arsenal having done so in 2007.

The WSL leaders, who will find out their FA Cup semi-final opponents in Tuesday morning’s draw, face Ajax in their Champions League quarter-final this month before taking on Arsenal for the Conti Cup on March 31.

Manchester United and Leicester had already booked trips to the FA Cup last four with victories on Saturday, while Tottenham added their name into the hat following a nervy 4-3 penalty shootout win over Manchester City in Sunday’s late kick-off.

Australia international Mary Fowler’s deflected effort fired City to the lead inside six minutes, but Bethany England scored a dramatic equaliser in the sixth minute of second-half stoppage time and neither side could find a winner in extra time.

Spurs keeper Rebecca Spencer saved spot kicks from England duo Alex Greenwood and Chloe Kelly, ultimately allowing Amy Turner to seal her side a first FA Cup semi-final appearance.

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