Women’s International Cup Final and Semi-Final Preview

Image Courtesy of NC Courage

After two fixture dates in the Miami’s International Champions Cup run, one thing has become very apparent. The women’s tournament has been holding it’s own in the shadow of the two men’s fixtures. While Real Madrid and Manchester United is the main event, it’s a shame that the women’s tournament hasn’t received the support it merits at the turnstile. The best action in this tournament has come from the North Carolina Courage and Olympique Lyonnais. The best value in this tournament comes Sunday as the two square off for the inaugural title.

While the United States may have the best women’s national team and development academy in the world, the others are quickly catching up. That becomes obvious by watching the talent that took the field on Thursday. The touches are clean, the passing is jaw-dropping, and the finishing is down right world class. The French Women’s National Team dominates the roster on PSG and Lyon, while Manchester City has eight players from the English Women’s National Team. Not to be outdone, the US Women’s National Team has recently called up six courage players for the Tournament of Nations with Lynn Williams last appearing in April.

Women’s Third Place Match

The third-place game will be contested by Manchester City and PSG. The two teams have never played in the UEFA Women’s Champions League but have sparred in friendlies on a few occasions. Most recently four days ago where City’s Nadia Nadim buried the only goal of the match to give City a 1-0 win in the warmups to the tournament. PSG boast the last two Division 1 Feminine Young Player’s of the Season in Grace Geyoro and Marie-Antoinette Katoto. The duo will look to lead the line for the PSG as they hope to come away with a victory in the tournament.

The Championship

With the Courage’s roster ravaged by the USWNT call-ups, it would be understandable if the lone NWSL side failed to complete in the tournament. The Courage did not come to enjoy the Magic City, they came to dominate. Dominate they have. The ladies of Cary lead the NWSL with 46 points in 19 points and dominated PSG throughout their semi-final match. With a 84th minute winner from 2017 7th overall pick, Darian Jenkins, NCC sealed their spot in the finals.

Eugenie Le Sommer charging after a loose ball. Photo by Sam Navarro/Miami Herald
Eugenie Le Sommer charging after a loose ball. Photo by Sam Navarro/Miami Herald

Olympique Lyonnais have been an absolute delight to watch. The five-time (yes five time) UEFA women’s champion league winners came out of the gate firing in their semi-final clash. The women from Lyon scored four minutes into the match on a header from French WNT striker Eugenie Le Sommer. It would be France’s third all-time leading goal scorer to pot the second again after picking the pocket of a City defender and dribbling around the goalie ten minutes later. Even more, Le Sommer decided she would show a bit of her playmaking ability as well. A perfect cross into the box found Ada Hederberg who volley’d it home.

The championship match will undoubtedly provide some of the best total team soccer action that exists anywhere in the International Champions Cup. The Courage and Olympique Lyonnais will not just be battling for a trophy but also for national pride. The women of all four clubs have proven their talent and deserve the support of soccer fans from the magic city.

Tickets start at $10 for both matches. Click here to get your tickets now!

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