Tottenham Hotspur Women were back in action on Sunday in the group stage of the 2019-20 Continental Cup, playing West Ham for the second time in three matches, this time at Rush Green Stadium. Despite going up 2-0 thanks to goals from Rianna Dean and Josie Green, Tottenham conceded two goals in injury time of the second half and slipped to a disappointing 2-2 draw.
However, Spurs were able to gain a second point in the competition by beating West Ham 4-2 in a penalty shootout. That means that Spurs took two points out of a possible three.
This match was not televised or streamed anywhere as it is a cup and not part of the WSL league. However, you can watch highlights of the match on West Ham’s website. The points are Spurs’ first of the competition; they previously lost 4-0 to Reading in their first match.
Afterwards, Spurs co-head coach Karen Hills praised the Women for their overall performance.
“I thought we were outstanding in the 90 minutes of the game. We made a lot of changes and gave some of the girls who haven’t played much a good opportunity to get some minutes and I thought every one of them did brilliantly. We controlled the game and I was really pleased. Then injury time came and West Ham pulled one back, then they were on the front foot and we gifted them a silly free-kick. We’re obviously disappointed to concede two late goals but overall, from a performance point of view, I thought the players did exceptionally well.”
So the Continental (Tyres) Cup is weird. The closest analogue in the men’s game is probably the EFL Trophy (formerly known as the Checkatrade Trophy), which was reformatted a couple of years back. The Continental Cup features all of the teams from the top two divisions of English women’s football, drawn into groups for an extended group stage + knock out competition. Spurs were drawn into a group with Chelsea, Reading, Crystal Palace, Lewes, and West Ham.
Three points are awarded for a win, one point for a draw. However, the added twist is that drawn games go immediately to a penalty shoot-out after regular time, with the winner gaining an extra point.
Tottenham’s next match in the competition is a trip to Crystal Palace on November 3; they return to WSL action this coming Sunday, October 27 away to Bristol City.