Leicester City 1-1 West Ham United women’s team
Barclays Women’s Super League, King Power Stadium, Sunday 17 December 2023, 3pm
West Ham United women’s team salvaged a draw late on against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Sunday.
After bossing proceedings for most of the match in Leicestershire, a breakaway from the Foxes saw Lena Petermann squeeze the ball in at the near post on 68 minutes.
Before that, Jess Ziu, Riko Ueki and Viviane Asseyi had all spurned opportunities, whilst Emma Harries also saw an effort denied late on.
And after Hawa Cissoko was sent off for a second bookable offence, it looked as though the Hammers might not find a way back into the game. However, in the dying embers, Honoka Hayashi was able to bundle the ball home to share the points.
Rehanne Skinner made two changes from the narrow 1-0 defeat at home to Everton last weekend, with Shannon Cooke coming into the side to replace Amber Tysiak, who missed out due to not reaching the concussion protocol threshold required. Lisa Evans was the other player to miss out, with her place in the starting XI being taken by Anouk Denton.
Viviane Asseyi had the first sighter on goal of the afternoon when the home side gave the ball away cheaply. Her shot took a deflection on the way through and was comfortably held by Janina Leitzig.
The home side looked for Leitzig to start moves from the back at every opportunity, which occasionally presented the Hammers with an opportunity to pounce as a result of a high press.
On 25 minutes, loose pass was jumped upon by the Hammers and Jess Ziu fired a shot that stung the hands of Leitzig, as she pushed it away for a corner.
More good play followed minutes, as Denton fired a ball into the chest of Asseyi, which the France forward was able to turn around the corner for Riko Ueki to curl one towards goal. Her effort spun narrowly wide of the post, as the Hammers continued to look the more likely to open the scoring.
Just after the 30-minute mark, Ziu had the best chance of the half. She was played in behind by Ueki but couldn’t steer her effort on target as she bore down on goal.
In the second half, the Irons came out again on the front foot. A high ball into the area wasn’t claimed effectively, presenting Asseyi with the opportunity to score, but she sliced her acrobatic effort wide.
Then, on 52 minutes, the Hammers should have opened the scoring. A clipped ball to the back post saw Ueki head the ball down towards goal, only for it to be blocked on the line. In the melee that ensued, Ziu and Denton had opportunities to strike, before the ball eventually dropped to Asseyi, but she couldn’t keep the strike down.
The intensity from the away side continued, but it would be the Foxes that would open the scoring on 68 minutes. A driving run from Rantala saw her drive in behind and pick out Petermann, who fired in from close range.
After being pegged back, Skinner’s side looked to respond, and chances were still appearing in behind the Leicester City backline. Substitute, Harries raced in behind this time, only to see her shot saved by Leitzig.
The away side went in search of an equaliser, but were reduced to ten players late on when Cissoko was given a second yellow card.
The reward for West Ham United's hard work did eventually arrive, as Hayashi was able to bundle the ball over the line in the seventh minute of injury time to take home a share of the spoils.
Leicester City: Leitzig, Nevin, Tierney, Howard (Goodwin 65), Palmer (Siemsen 87), Rantala, Petermaan, Wheelan © (Baker 90+8), Cayman, Green, Thibaud
Subs not used: Kop, Sherwood, Draper
Goal: Petermann 68
Booked: Palmer 28, Green 90+1
West Ham United: Walsh, Smith, Shimizu, Cissoko ©, Cooke, Denton (Snerle 75) (Stapleton 90+9), Hayashi, Stringer (Filis 87) , Asseyi, Ziu (Harries 60), Ueki (Ademiluyi 87)
Subs not used: Arnold (GK), O’Hanlon, Atkinson, Flannery
Goal: Hayashi 90+7
Booked: Ziu 35, Stringer 79, Cissoko 90+3
Sent-off: Cissoko 90+5
Referee: Abigail Byrne