27 June 2020

Portland Thorns suffer late heartbreak as North Carolina Courage claim a 2-1 victory in the NWSL Challenge Cup

Portland Thorns suffered late heartbreak against North Carolina Courage in the opening match of the National Women’s Soccer League's Challenge Cup.

Courage scored a late winner to secure three points and a 2-1 victory.

Before the match got underway, both teams showed unity for the Black Lives Matter protests. They wore the slogan on their training tops and every player and staff member took a knee during the national anthem.

And before the first whistle was blown, eight minutes and 46 seconds was displayed on the stadium's screen and there was a moment’s silence in memory of George Floyd.

The match then began to what was an action-packed first half.

Both teams had promising shots at goal. Thorns' Lindsay Horan and Courage's Lynn Williams both proved invaluable with both players getting their foot to the ball for heart in your mouth moments.

With both sides unable to convert chances, the match remained in a 0-0 deadlock heading into half time.

The hunger for a goal came into fruition in the second half though, first coming from Courage.

Just a few minutes after Thorns' Horan nearly scored through a header, Courage's Debinha struck in the 75th minute to put her side ahead.

However, just five minutes later Thorns hit back through Simone Charley after a cross from Horan.

At 90 minutes the game stood at a 1-1 draw but Courage were pressing for a winner.

After Williams had countless shots at goal, her determination paid off in the 94th minute as she scored a late winner to bag three points for Courage.

Both side’s will play again on Wednesday.

Courage will look to continue their winning start against Washington Spirit while Thorns will be itching for a victory against Chicago Red Stars.

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