NC Courage Defeat PSG 2-1 in First Ever Women’s International Champions Cup match.
The NC Courage defeated PSG 2-1 in the first match of the inaugural Women’s International Champions Cup at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Fla., on Thursday night.
Jessica McDonald and Darian Jenkins tallied one goal per half with Jenkins’ game-winner being her first professional goal. The Courage will now face either Olympique Lyonnais or Manchester City in the championship game on Sunday, July 29 at 9 p.m. ET.
On a very hot Florida night, the Courage dictated the tempo for the first thirty minutes, peppering the PSG goalie with a flurry of chances. Abby Erceg almost got on the board in the fifth minute trying to head home a cross, while McDonald and Lynn Williams both saw chances 10 minutes later.
In the 19th minute, McDonald received a perfectly weighted pass from defender Kaleigh Kurtz and took it all the way into the box, the UNC product looked up and slotted the ball far post for the 1-0 lead.
As the half wore on, the reigning Coupe de France winners started getting numbers in the NC Courage half of the pitch, applying a little more pressure and taking advantage of the flanks. The tactic finally paid off as PSG forward Jordyn Huitema pressured Kurtz into a clearance that went the wrong way of the post to tie up the game 1-1.
Out of the gates into the second half both teams traded chances. PSG almost capitalized in the 64th minute with a shot from midfielder Andrine Hegerberg, but Katelyn Rowland was quick to block the Norwegian’s strike. Only a minute later, McDonald struck a rocket from the top of the box that ricocheted off of goalkeeper Katarzyna Kiedrzynek, Williams tried to pick up the rebound, but defender Ashley Lawrence was quick to clear.
It only took Jenkins 10 minutes from entering the game to find the back of the net. Williams brought the ball down the right flank and sent a low cross into the box looking for the oncoming UCLA product who easily slotted it past Kiedrzynek for the game-winning tally in the 84th minute.
The NC Courage managed the last few minutes of the game earning a spot in the Women’s ICC Final on Sunday, against the winner of the Olympique Lyonnais – Manchester City match. The game will be televised live on ESPN 2.
NCC (4-4-2): Katelyn Rowland; Jaelene Hinkle (Morgan Reid, 82′), Abby Erceg ©, Kaleigh Kurtz, Heather O’Reilly (Sarah Teegarden, 74′); Meredith Speck (Ryan Williams, 61′), Cari Roccaro (Yuri Kawamura, 61′), Denise O’Sullivan, Kristen Hamilton; Lynn Williams, Jessica McDonald (Darian Jenkins, 84′)
Subs not used: Sabrina D’Angelo, Carlin Hudson, Liz Eddy, Tori Hansen, Julia Aronov
PSG (5-4-1): Katarzyna Kiedrzynek; Paulina Dudek (Rania Aouina, 46′), Ashley Lawrence, Irene Paredes (Anissa Lahmari, 66′) ©, Eve Perisset, Perle Morroni; Andrine Hegreberg, Aminata Diallo, Grace Geyoro, Kadidiatou Diani (Davinia VanMechelen, 66′); Jordyn Huitema (Melike Pekel, 86′)
Subs not used: Claudia Endler, Kenza Allaoui, Ines Karaoun, Noemie Vagre, Wissem Bouzid
NCC: Jessica McDonald (Kaleigh Kurtz, 19′), Darian Jenkins (Lynn Williams, 84′)
PSG: OG (Kaleigh Kurtz, 40′)
NCC: Meredith Speck 56′