The draw was made by Mark Sampson and Marieanne Spacey at the England training camp at St. George’s Park.
Most of the 23 players called up with a vested interest sat around awaiting their fate, ready to take the next steps on the road to Wembley.
Black Cats London-bound
Arsenal were the first out the hat (bag), drawn at home to Sunderland. A 550 mile round trip for the Lady Black Cats, but maybe their last in this competition this season. Having had to take their previous two FA Cup games to penalties, Arsenal will want to get the match over and done with inside of the 90 but Sunderland will be no push-overs.
The match is a replay of the 2009 final which saw the Gunners lift the trophy for an astounding tenth time, with Sunderland valiant but consigned to a 2-1 defeat. That was the last time the Black Cats progressed to the final, not having managed to go past the quarter-final stages since. Conversely Arsenal have been to the final in four of the six since they bested Sunderland, having won three and losing the other on penalties.
Déjà vu for the Citizens
The second semi-final having picked itself; Chelsea vs Manchester City, just for the matter of who would have the home advantage. Chelsea out of the bag first, meaning the Citizens will have to travel. The draw sees last year’s top two pitted against each other, evenly matched when they squared off last season; a win for each and a draw in their three meetings over the course of 2015.
It is a replay of last year’s semi-final, the two meeting at Adam’s Park and Chelsea made it all the way to Wembley thanks to a Ji So-Yun goal five minutes from time. Will history repeat itself or will Man City make it to a first time FA Cup final?
Both ties are scheduled to be played on Sunday 17 April – times to be confirmed – but unlike previous years, the games will be played at the home grounds of the two home teams (Borehamwood FC and Wheatsheaf Park respectively) not on neutral ground.