Liverpool lost to Sunderland in the final game of the group stage of the competition on Tuesday and finished Group 1 North in second place. Both the Reds and Sunderland came to the match previously unbeaten, and it showed as soon as the clock started. Liverpool began the game pushing for an opening but failed to convert their early chances.
Unfortunately for the Reds, Sunderland had no such problems: Bridget Galloway scored her first senior goal when she headed the ball past Siobhan Chamberlain, and that (as they say) was that. Liverpool continued to press for any opportunity to level the score, but Sunderland’s keeper, Rachael Laws, was well up to the task of keeping the ball out of her net.
Liverpool manager Scott Rogers voiced his disappointment with the result after the game.
“I didn't think we did enough,” he said. “We tried to play but our quality wasn't there. Their game plan got them the result. We were nowhere near the standards that we aim to hit and as a consequence, we didn’t deserve to win the game.”
“All credit to Sunderland. They're not an easy team to play against and if you don’t turn up, you get beat. You have to take your hat off to them and Melanie [Copeland, the Sunderland manager]. Maybe the fact that we were already through didn’t help us. We could have been complacent, but we wanted to top the group.”
Sunderland will go on to face Arsenal in the quarter finals. The Reds, meanwhile, have the dubious honour of meeting Chelsea Ladies (the Spring Series champions and general thorn-in-the-side-if-you-want-to-win) on Sunday December 17th. There’s plenty of time to get back that winning mentality before then.