NC Courage Win First Ever Women’s International Champions Cup.
Courage defeat five-time UEFA Champions League winners Olympique Lyonnais in hard-fought battle.
The North Carolina Courage captured the first ever Women’s International Champions Cup by defeating five-time UEFA Champions League winner Olympique Lyonnais Feminin 1-0 on Sunday night at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.
Three-time Olympic champion Heather O’Reilly scored the lone goal for the Courage, tallying her first in a Courage uniform. A stellar performance by Sabrina D’Angelo and the back line kept the result, giving the 2017 NWSL Shield winners their second trophy since relocating to North Carolina.
Another hot, muggy night dictated play on the field as both teams applied pressure early on, but it only took the Courage 10 minutes to score the game winner. Lynn Williams took advantage of a miscued back pass from Lyon midfielder Saki Kumagai and brought it down the left side before crossing it to an oncoming O’Reilly. The UNC-Chapel Hill standout struck it towards the goal and underneath Olympique goalkeeper Lisa Weiß.
The Courage continued to look dangerous as Williams continued to be a threat for the Lyon defense forcing a corner kick in the 23rdminute and another one in the 33rd. D’Angelo was called into action in the 38thminute for the first clear opportunity by Lyon when Shanice van de Sanden went one-v-one towards goal only to see her chance thwarted by the Canadian international. Lyon continued to look for an equalizer before halftime but to no avail.
Out of the gates for the second half Olympique started to push harder. In the 57thminute, D’Angelo was called into action again when she deftly saved a cross from midfielder Carolin Simon.
A few minutes later the Courage backstopper was forced into a diving save after a blast by former Portland Thorns midfielder Amandine Henry in the 64th, and again in the 73rdfollowing a shot by Amel Majri.
Olympique continued to lay siege to the Courage goal, but the exceptional defense by the whole team and D’Angelo helped preserve the result and the 1-0 win.
— International Champions Cup Women’s Tournament (@iccwomen) July 30, 2018
The playoff-bound Courage now turn their attention to league play as they return to the field on Sunday, August 5 as they host the Portland Thorns at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park at 6 p.m. For tickets and information visit NCCourage.com or call the Coastal Credit Union Box Office at 919.459.8144
NCC (4-1-4-1): Sabrina D’Angelo; Jaelen Hinkle, Abby Erceg ©, Kaleigh Kurtz, Ryan Williams (Morgan Reid, 83’); Yuri Kawamura (Cari Roccaro, 31’); Kristen Hamilton (Jessica McDonald, 61’), Meredith Speck, Denise O’Sullivan, Heather O’Reilly (Darian Jenkins, 61’); Lynn Williams
Subs not used: Katelyn Rowland, Liz Eddy, Sarah Teegarden, Julia Aronov, Tori Hansen, Carlin Hudson
Olympique Lyonnais (4-1-4-1): Lisa Weiß; Carolin Simon, Wendie Renard © (Griedge Mbock Bathy, 78’), Kadeisha Buchanan, Lucy Bronze; Saki Kumagai; Eugenie Le Sommer, Isobel Christiansen (Amel Majri, 46’), Amandine Henry, Shanice van de Sanden (Delphine Cascarino, 61’), Ada Hegerberg
Subs not used: Audrey Dupupet
NCC: Heather O’Reilly (Lynn Williams, 10’)
NCC: Cari Roccaro 69’
LYN: Kadeisha Buchanan 81’,
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