Women's Super League: Liverpool Ladies 1-2 Sunderland Ladies

Liverpool's Asisat Oshoala (right) and Sarah McFadden of Sunderland
Sarah McFadden (left) and Sunderland stunned the champions by taking a first-half lead

Women's Super League One debutants Sunderland stunned defending champions Liverpool to win the 2015 season opener in front of a crowd of 1,014 in Widnes.

Teenage striker Beth Mead headed the Lady Black Cats ahead in the first half from Keira Ramshaw's right-wing cross.

The England Under-23 international was then fouled in the box after the break and debutant Brooke Chaplen doubled the visitors' lead from the penalty spot.

Satara Murray pulled one back for the Reds but Sunderland held on to win.

The visitors, who were beaten 6-0 by Liverpool as recently as last season's Continental Cup, took the lead after Chaplen and Ramshaw combined on the right to create an opening for Mead.

They almost doubled their lead moments later when Northern Ireland international midfielder Rachel Furness volleyed narrowly over.

Sunderland's league form continues
Since 2010, Sunderland have lost just six league games over four seasons
They have not lost an away league game since 14 April 2013, when they were beaten 2-1 by Charlton Athletic

Liverpool gave a first start to Nigerian striker Asisat Oshoala, the first African player to play in the WSL, and she had the Reds' best chance of the first half but shot wide.

Natasha Dowie headed against the Sunderland crossbar after the break as the home side continued to be frustrated.

Mead then showed good strength and pace before firing over but she did play a big part in the Lady Black Cats' second goal.

Murray, who signed from North Carolina Tar Heels earlier this year, fouled Mead in the box and former Everton player Chaplen stepped up to make it 2-0.

Murray then pulled one back for her new side at the other end, finishing from close range after a scramble in the box had followed a Fara Williams corner.

But Sunderland held on for a famous win as the 2014 champions started the defence of their title with a shock defeat.

Liverpool: Stout, Ryland, Murray, Bonner, Schroder, Harris, Williams, Zelem, Oshoala, Rolser, Dowie.

Substitutes: Gibbons, Easton, Pacheco, Dale, Staniforth, Longhurst, Smorsgard.

Sunderland: Laws, V Williams, Sharp, Bannon, Holmes, Furness, McFadden, Chaplen, Joice, Ramshaw, Mead.

Substitutes: Harkness, McDougall, Bass, Gutteridge, S. Williams, Greenwell, Kelly.

Attendance: 1,014.

Liverpool boss Matt Beard told BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra:

"We knew it was going to be a tough game but we're desperately disappointed because we wanted to start the season well.

"We've had some pre-season results that haven't gone our way and we need to make sure we can try and turn it round."

Sunderland boss Carlton Fairweather told BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra:

"It is a fantastic result. Liverpool are a great side. They gave a good performance but our girls worked really hard and probably deserved it.

"Our first goal was very good link up play and a great goal."

Rachel Furnes (left)
Rachel Furnes (left) volleyed narrowly over for the visitors in the first half
Sunderland Ladies
Beth Mead and Sunderland celebrate scoring the opening goal of the WSL 1 season

As It Stood

1Sunderland Ladies11002113
2Arsenal Women00000000
3B'ham City Ladies00000000
4Bristol City Women00000000
5Chelsea Ladies00000000
6Man City Women00000000
7Notts County Ladies00000000
8Liverpool Ladies100112-10
View full Women's Super League 1 table

Top Stories