Weaver’s late goal lifts Thorns over Lyon 1-0 in WICC final

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Morgan Weaver came off the bench and scored in the 87th minute to give the Portland Thorns a 1-0 victory over Lyon in the Women’s International Champions Cup final Saturday night.

Barcelona beat the Houston Dash 3-2 in the third-place match earlier Saturday at Providence Park.

Portland’s Rocky Rodriquez launched a left-footed shot in the 79th minute that looked as if it might break the scoreless stalemate, but it hit the post.

Weaver, who was coming off an ankle injury and entered the game in the 82nd, broke through with her shot from a tough angle against Lyon goalkeeper Christiane Endler. After the goal, the crowd chanted “Mor-gan Wea-ver! Mor-gan Wea-ver!”

“I think it’s just the mentality that everyone has on this team that we want to win,” Weaver said. “If it’s your moment it’s your moment, and if it’s not, you’re still in the moment with the team, and that’s all that really matters.”

The Thorns advanced to the title match 3-1 on a penalty shootout after a 2-2 draw with the Dash. Lyon downed Barcelona 3-2 in the opening game of the event that started Wednesday night.

Lyon saw the return of American Catarina Macario, who played for the United States at the Tokyo Olympics.

The Thorns also welcomed back their Olympians, including Christine Sinclair, who won the gold medal with Canada, as well as Americans Crystal Dunn, Becky Sauerbrunn and Lindsey Horan.

Lyon, the 2020 UEFA Champions League winner, is the defending champion from the 2019 WICC. Barcelona qualified for the event as the 2020 Spanish league leader.

The Thorns qualified for the tournament as winners of the NWSL’s fall series, while the Dash won last summer’s Challenge Cup in Utah.

In the earlier match, Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic gave Barcelona the early lead before Rachel Daly’s equalizer. Shea Groom gave the Dash the lead but Alexia Putellas tied it again with a penalty in the 72nd minute and scored the winner in the 78th.

New York-based Relevent Sports Group, which puts on the International Champions Cup for men’s club teams each summer, added the women’s competition in 2018. Last year’s event was canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Organizers bill the event as the international championship for women’s professional club teams. Relevent plans to add two additional teams to the women’s tournament next year and eight clubs in 2023.

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