Ji So-yun makes final appearance in a Chelsea shirt as club wins FA Cup final
Ji So-yun made her final appearance in a Chelsea shirt on Sunday as the London club beat Manchester City 3-2 in extra time to defend their title as the Women's FA Cup champions.
Ji, a midfielder who has been a key part of the Chelsea lineup for eight years, was substituted on in the 69th minute of the game with Chelsea already up 2-1. A Manchester City equalizer followed in the 89th minute, with Chelsea scoring the winning goal 10 minutes later.
Ji stayed on the pitch until the 119th minute of the game, four minutes before the whistle blew, and walked off to a standing ovation from the Chelsea fans — likely for the last time in her career.
With the win, Chelsea defended their FA Cup title for a second year, winning the cup for the fourth time in the club's history.
Ji has been a part of the squad for all four of those victories, including Chelsea's first ever FA Cup win in the 2014-15 season, when Ji scored the sole goal in the 1-0 win over Notts County. Chelsea went on to win again in the 2017-18 season, as well as last season and this year.
After eight years as one of the Super League's top players, Ji announced at the end of April that she plans to leave Chelsea at the end of the 2021-22 season. With Sunday's FA Cup final completing all scheduled fixtures for the London club, Ji is now set to move back to Korea for the first time since she graduated university. She has played her entire professional career overseas, in Japan and Britain.
Ji, now 31, debuted with Chelsea in 2014 and went on to win both Player of the Year and PFA Players' Player of the Year.
She has made over 200 appearances for the London club, scoring 68 goals across all competitions with 37 in the Super League. Ji is tied for fifth in the all-time ranking for assists in the Super League, at 29.
Over those eight years, she has won six Super League titles, three FA Cups, one community shield and two Continental Cups. She was the first non-British player to pass 100 and 200 Super League appearances and is still recognized as one of the best — if not the best — international players ever to play in the British league.
BY JIM BULLEY [firstname.lastname@example.org]