Q Radio Sport
Chelsea have won the Super Cup in Belfast, beating Villarreal 6-5 on penalties when it finished 1-1 after extra-time.
Substitute goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga was the hero, saving two spot kicks in the sudden death shoot-out at Windsor Park.
The Spaniard was only brought on in the dying seconds of the match, specifically for the penalties.
Blues boss Thomas Tuchel confirmed afterwards the move was planned in advance.
FT: #SuperCup— Q Radio News (@qnewsdesk) August 11, 2021
After extra-time @ChelseaFC 1
Ziyech @VillarrealCFen 1
No goals in the additional 30 minutes at Windsor Park so it goes to a penalty shoot-out. Chelsea's Spanish sub keeper Kepa comes on for Mendy. pic.twitter.com/hfqQz3wZo2
Hakim Ziyech had opened the scoring for the Blues mid-way through the first half of normal time but then had to go off injured.
Gerard Moreno equalised for Villarreal in the 73rd minute to force extra-time, but it remained level during the additional 30 minutes.
Then that dramatic finale and cue the Chelsea celebrations in front of more than 12,000 fans in the ground and millions watching across the globe.
ALL OVER@ChelseaFC beat @VillarrealCFen 6-5 after sudden death penalties to win the 2021 #SuperCup in Belfast— Q Radio News (@qnewsdesk) August 11, 2021
Chelsea sub keeper Kepa with two brilliant saves in the shoot-out!
A memorable occasion at Windsor Park - great night for football here. pic.twitter.com/Sqo0xju5vk
Super Cup winners Chelsea
Also on Wednesday night...
Cliftonville edged out Sion Swifts at Solitude in a pulsating five-goal encounter to remain four points behind Danske Bank Women’s Premiership leaders Glentoran - who won at Derry City - with two games in hand.
Caoirse Doherty had given Sion the lead in the second minute but the Reds hit back with quickfire first half goals from Marissa Callaghan and Kirsty McGuinness, before Louise McDaniel added a third after the break.
Kerryanne Brown pulled one back for the visitors in the second half, but the Reds saw out a potentially important win to bounce back from last week’s loss to the Glens.
The east Belfast side secured a 7-0 win at basement team Derry with Ali McMaster netting a treble.
Kerry Beattie, Rachel Rogan, Shannon Dunne and Nadene Caldwell were also among the scorers for the champions, who have now won four in a row in the league.
Crusaders Strikers strengthened their grip on a top three finish with Emily Wilson grabbing a hat-trick as they hit Linfield for six in their fixture at Jordanstown.
Danielle McDowell’s penalty gave the Crues the lead and whilst teenage winger Kerri Halliday once again found the net for the Blues, goals from Jessica Rea and the first two of Wilson’s treble put Jonny Tuffey’s side in control.
Rebecca Bassett pulled a goal back for the visitors but further goals from Wilson and Holly Otter wrapped up a comfortable win for the Strikers.
FT: #DanskeWomensPrem@derrycityfcw 0@GlentoranWomen 7@CruesStrikers 6@LinfieldLadies 2@CVilleLadiesFC 3@SionSwiftsLFC 2— Q Radio News (@qnewsdesk) August 11, 2021
Glens stay 4 points clear at the top, but Reds remain in hot pursuit with 2 games in hand...
Pic: CSXSports/Chris Scott pic.twitter.com/8DUc1Gf58I
Crusaders Strikers 6-2 Linfield Ladies (McDowell pen, Rea, Wilson x3, Otter; Halliday, Bassett)
Cliftonville Ladies 3-2 Sion Swifts Ladies (Callaghan, K McGuinness, McDaniel; Doherty, Brown)
Derry City Women 0-7 Glentoran Women (Beattie '3, Rogan '15, Dunne '47, McMaster '53, '56, '64, Caldwell '58).
The action continues on Thursday night with Linfield and Larne in Europa Conference League qualifying.
The Blues face Fola Esch in Luxembourg trailing 2-1 from last week's first leg.
Larne host Pacos de Ferreira, 4-0 down from their third round game in Portugal.
So the visitors are hot favourites to progress and take on Spurs in a play-off for the group stages.