The NC Courage would come back from their victory in the International Champions Cup with a 2-1 win against the Portland Thorns. In the first half, the Courage would jump out to a 2-0 lead thanks to a brace by Lynn Williams. The game would feature the typical barrage of shots from the Courage with 31 chances generated in the game. Defensively, North Carolina limited Portland’s chances, but the Thorns had some solid efforts despite the press clogging up the midfield and keeping the visitors from establishing a rhythm in the game.
It seemed like the visitors may make a comeback when they scored a goal in the 49th minute. However, the Courage would continue their dominant form in the season and hold on for a 2-1 victory to secure the NWSL Shield for a second consecutive year.
️ ️ ️— NWSL (@NWSL) August 6, 2018
With the win, @TheNCCourage have clinched the 2018 #NWSL Shield! pic.twitter.com/JkwRx9weWq
The scoring would open in the 37th minute when Debinha played a long ball out to the left wing to a streaking Jess McDonald on a counter attack. The forward hit a low cross to Lynn Williams and the striker slotted it past Adrianna Franch to put the Courage ahead 1-0.
.@Debinha7 ➡️ @J_Mac1422 ➡️ @lynnraenie #NCvPOR 1-0 pic.twitter.com/K3lpXzrVgG— NC Courage (@TheNCCourage) August 5, 2018
The second goal came just before the half when Williams again scored when a ball deflected off of a Thorns player into her path. This time the Courage were all over the Thorns’ box and the striker sent the ball past Franch into the right corner of the net.
Make it 2 for @lynnraenie!#NCvPOR pic.twitter.com/be9uzP8Xcb— NC Courage (@TheNCCourage) August 5, 2018
The Thorns got one back in the 49th minute when Tobin Heath hit a freekick that was perfectly placed between Williams and Katelyn Rowland that found Lindsey Horan.
.@TobinHeath ➡️@Lindseyhoran11 #BAONPDX pic.twitter.com/Wi7K8IDHz6— Portland Thorns FC (@ThornsFC) August 5, 2018
Paul Riley would go with his tried and true 4-4-2 box formation with Crystal Dunn on the bench after her time with the national team.
Here we go!— NC Courage (@TheNCCourage) August 5, 2018
Meet our Starting XI for #NCvPOR pic.twitter.com/MSrIYeebTk
Subs: 78 - Crystal Dunn on for Sam Mewis; 85 - Kristen Hamilton on for Debinha
The Thorns came out in a 4-3-3 with a largely first choice lineup.
Here we go! Today's Starting XI for the Thorns clash with the Courage. Kick is 3pm PT on https://t.co/17lRLBubkR. #BAONPDX pic.twitter.com/F3GfEL2W42— Portland Thorns FC (@ThornsFC) August 5, 2018
Subs: 58 - Caitlin Foord on for Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic; 70 - Elizabeth Ball on for Margaret Purce; 78 - Andressinha on for Hayley Raso.
The Courage will travel to Chicago next Friday to take on the Red Stars as they continue their historic 2018 season.