Malard's late winner lifts Olympique Lyonnais past Barcelona in WICC thriller
WOMEN'S
Tyler Snipes
1 Yr Ago
FC Barcelona Femeni may have the UEFA Champions League title in their possession at the moment but on Wednesday night Olympique Lyonnais provided a reminder that they are still very much a European powerhouse to contend with.
Young French forward Melvine Malard’s 85th-minute winner helped lead Olympique Lyonnais to a late 3-2 victory over Barcelona at the Women’s International Champions Cup in Portland on Wednesday night.
Lyon midfielder Amel Majri set up the winner for the French side, which provided her some consolation after initially being denied a chance for her second goal of the night. Majri’s ferocious left-footed strike caromed off the gloves of Barcelona goalkeeper Sandra Paños and the 21-year-old Malard raced in to pick up the pieces.
The European giants put on a show, and the scoresheet was overloaded with entries in the first half as the sides swapped goals in the first 20 minutes. Barcelona controlled the match early on and a well-worked goal from striker Mariona Caldentey opened the scoring in the ninth minute.
From the break, Caldentey went on a run that ended in a right-footed rocket that beat Lyon keeper Christiane Endler on the far post side.
Les Lyonnaises didn’t need long to respond to Barcelona’s opener, converting two successful headed shots from Majri and Amandine Henry just seven minutes apart. Majri’s came from open play in the 20th minute as a strong response to Barcelona’s early magic. Henry’s came off a set piece to hand her side a lead that stayed protected through halftime and most of the second half.
Caldentey struck again in the 63rd minute with a tap-in that Endler spilled. That equalizer gave the Catalan side a spark, but the Spanish treble-winners were unable to find a third goal.
Lyon did find that third goal, with Malard’s winner moving the reigning WICC champions a step closer to a potential repeat.
Lyon will now face the winner of Wednesday’s nightcap between the Portland Thorns and Houston Dash in the WICC final on Saturday, and the French giants will have a chance to become the first two-time winner in WICC history.
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