Olympique Lyonnais Féminin proved that they are still the best women’s club in Europe in their 1-0 win over Atlético Madrid Femenino in the first match of the 2019 International Champions Cup Women’s Tournament. The victory sends Lyon through to the 1st place match where they will face off against the winner of the derby between the North Carolina Courage and Manchester City.
Madrid drops to the 3rd place game, where they will play against the loser of the second match of the day. In the tournament last year, Lyon lose in the final to the Courage.
In the fourth minute, Madrid had a chance to take the first shot of the match. Forward Ludmila got in behind Lyon defender Wendie Renard, and she held the ball up to allow her teammates a chance to get in the box. Unfortunately, the eventual cross was captured by OL goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi. Lyon took the ball down to the other end and won a corner kick almost immediately after that, but the header from Griedge Mbock Bathy went wide.
In the 10th minute, Lyon got their first shot on goal. A cross sent in from the right side of the box fell to a wide-open Eugenie Le Sommer in the box. She took one touch on the ball out of the air, but her shot went right at Atlético goalkeeper Lola Gallardo. The goalkeeper would stay busy over the next two minutes. She blocked a shot from Ada Hegerberg out for a corner kick. Punched the kick away, and then watched a shot from Nikita Parris fly over the bar.
Les Lyonnaises were back on attack in the 14th minute. Amel Majri earned a throw in deep in the attacking third. The throw came right back to her. Majri took the ball inside toward the top of the box, but her shot hit Lola right in the chest. Madrid’s goalkeeper was forced to make a more difficult save in the 16th minute, when another shot from Majri deflected under the foot of Atlético defender Aissatou Tounkara. The redirected back forced a stumbling save from Gallardo, but she was up to the task once again.
Madrid’s new forward, Toni Duggan, had her first chance with the new club in the 21st minute. Ludmila took on her defender and charged towards the end line. She was able to angle her body and sent a perfect pass to Duggan at the penalty spot. Duggan hit the ball well, but it was blocked and cleared out of danger.
Both teams slowed down significantly over the final 25 minutes of the first half. Lyon registered two more chances, but otherwise it seemed like the heat was getting to the players, and the halftime whistle would blow with the scoreline set at 0-0.
The first chance of the second half came in the 58th minute. Ludmila broke away from the defense and charged towards Bouhaddi and the OL goal. She took a shot from the right side, but it was blocked out by the goalkeeper. The corner kick was taken and punched away, but it was served back in. Bouhaddi was able to catch the return service and end the danger.
Shanice van de Sanden earned a corner kick for Lyon just minutes after entering the game. With Gallardo looking into the sun, Renard was able to get a head on the cross, but her shot went well wide in the 65th minute.
Gallardo came up big, once again, with a kick save in the 84th minute. A bit of poor defending allowed Lyon to control the ball in Atlético’s box. The ball was played up to the top, but the resulting low shot was deflected out of danger by the Spanish goalkeeper. In the 87th minute, Gallardo came up big again as she saved a header off of a corner kick.
The head of Wendie Renard, after being denied so many times, would finally secure the game-winning goal in the 90+1 minute. Gallardo, after 90 minutes of perfect play, came way too far out on a corner kick to try and punch away a ball she couldn’t reach. Renard, who had been uncovered on most of the corners during the match, got to the ball first and it bounced slowly into the back of the net to put Lyon ahead.
Lyon Starting XI: Bouhaddi; Bronze, MBock, Renard, Greenwood; Parris (Cascarino, 60’), Henry (Kumagai, 80’), Marozsan, Majri; Hegerberg, Le Sommer (van de Sanden, 61’)
Madrid Starting XI: Lola; Laia, Linari, Menayo (Robles, 61’), Tounkara; Amanda, Virginia (Strom, 36’), Meseguer, Sosa; Duggan (Corral, 61’), Ludmila (Garcia)