Sunderland Ladies’ Wembley dream is over after they were knocked out of the FA Women’s Cup by a rampant Arsenal who scored six 2nd half goals to win 7-0.
The Gunners put seven past Sunderland in a dominant display as both sides ended the game with ten players apiece.
It was an eventful afternoon at Borehamwood, with Emma Mitchell’s early red card for Arsenal compensated for when Danielle Van de Donk handed the hosts the lead.
Danielle Carter added a second after the break before Abby Holmes was dismissed allowing substitute Fara Williams to fire home a penalty before Van de Donk added a fourth.
Former Sunderland midfielder Jordan Nobbs added a fifth before Dutch international Van de Donk wrapped up her hat-trick with five minutes remaining.
Carter then tapped home in injury time to send Arsenal to Wembley and leave Sunderland wondering what might have been.
The Lady Black Cats were looking to reach the FA Women’s Cup final for only the second time in their history, and met the side that beat them in the 2009 final.
Arsenal began brightly, with Carter stinging the palms of Rachel Laws from distance before Sunderland’s Beth Mead saw her penalty appeals waved away after she felt she had been brought down inside the area.
Pedro Martinez Losa’s side continued to push forward, but the tides appeared to turn when defender Mitchell was dismissed for a second bookable offence.
But the dismissal didn’t deter Arsenal who opened the scoring only six minutes later when Van de Donk bundled home from close range after Laws couldn’t keep hold of the ball.
And Arsenal continued their dominance after the break, adding a second when Carter nipped in at the near post to finish off a flowing move.
Sunderland weren’t completely out of the tie, however, with Mead a whisker away from connecting with a Lucy Staniforth delivery just after the hour mark.
Any hopes of a comeback were extinguished after 73 minutes when Holmes was sent-off for a foul in the area, with Williams converting the resulting penalty.
This opened the floodgates, with Van de Donk grabbing her second three minutes later as she fired in after Carter’s ball into the area.
Ex-Black Cat Nobbs added a fifth with only eight minutes remaining as she rounded Laws before cooly slotting home.
And there was still time left for Van de Donk to claim the match ball, as she got on to Nobbs’ through ball to dink it home via a deflection off Steph Bannon.
Carter was then able to tap home for a seventh in injury time after Kelly Smith fashioned an opening for her strike partner, condemning Sunderland to a heavy defeat.