The Women’s International Championship Cup (WICC) started its activity with an exciting doubleheader, from which Olympique de Lyon and Portland Thorns came out with the victory to agree their appointment for the Final of the tournament.
The first game at Providence Park in Portland, Oregon, was played by Olympique and Barcelona and the victory was for the French with a score of 3-2.
Lyon showed their quality of power against some Catalans who came to the match as the current queens of Europe after achieving the League, Cup and Champions League treble.
Barça opened the account at ‘9 with a goal from Mariona Caldentey and it was the Catalans who dominated the match, but after their good start, Lyon turned the game around in a span of seven minutes with goals from Amel Majri and Amandine Henry (’20 and ’27).
At ’63, Caldentey gave Barça hope by scoring the tying goal and in the final stretch, it was Olympique who prevailed when the young French striker Melvine Malard sentenced the final 3-2 after taking advantage of a rejection by the Barça goalkeeper after a powerful shot from Majri.
The second meeting of the night was not without emotion and intensity.
The Houston Dash went to halftime with a 2-0 lead over the Thorns, after Shea Groom made the double at ’17 and ’41, however, the home team would not leave without a fight.
Natalia Kuikka closed the gap to ’51, followed by 15-year-old Olivia Moultrie’s tying goal at ’58 to send the match to penalties.
With the tonic of the second half, the good fortune and the great performance of the debut goalkeeper of the Thorns, Shelby Hogan, the home team beat Dash 3-1 from 11 steps.
Lyon will seek to endorse their WICC title on Saturday against the Thorns, while Barcelona and Houston will meet for third place