Remy Siemsen played her first match of the season as Leicester City stunned Mary Fowler’s Manchester City on penalties in the Conti Cup.
Siemsen – a six-time Matildas forward – had not featured for Leicester since May last season, having sustained an ankle injury during pre-season.
But the former Sydney FC star was back in the line-up for her first appearance of 2023-24 as Leicester upstaged Women’s Super League (WSL) rivals City 4-3 in a penalty shoot-out following a 2-2 draw on Thursday (AEDT).
In the starting XI with fellow Australian Courtney Nevin, Siemsen played 45 minutes and had a golden chance to break the deadlock early in the match but she spurned the opportunity.
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Up against a City side that made nine changes to the line-up that beat rivals Manchester United in the WSL over the weekend, Leicester did score twice before half-time to take a 2-0 lead via Janice Cayman and Sophie Howard.
Matildas star Fowler, who did start the match while Alanna Kennedy was an unused substitute, did help inspire a City comeback in the second half as Gareth Taylor introduced Alex Greenwood, Lauren Hemp and Yui Hasegawa.
Fowler provided the assist for Deyna Castellanos to reduce the deficit in the 49th minute before Laura Coombs equalised for the four-time Conti Cup champions 20 minutes from the end.
But it was a mixed night for Fowler, who had her penalty saved in the shoot-out as Leicester prevailed on spot-kicks.
“Maybe it was my mistake tonight changing the team too much,” Taylor said. “I’m expecting people wanting to prove a point but I’m talking about the basics really.
“We were just off it in our pressing. The goals were really poor and we gave ourselves an uphill battle. But fair play in the second half.”
On the shootout, Taylor added. “Frustrating because we know we have good penalty takers in the team but it wasn’t to be tonight.”
Leicester are third in Group B and unbeaten through two games, two points behind leaders City.
Elsewhere in the group, Matildas goalkeeper Teagan Micah started for Liverpool in their 1-0 loss at home to Manchester United.
Liverpool are yet to claim a point in the cup this season.
In Group E, Charli Rule played the entire game as Brighton and Hove Albion saw off West Ham 3-1.
Brighton are top of their group with six points from two games, while West Ham are third after resting star Matildas keeper and captain Mackenzie Arnold.