Lyon withstood a furious late onslaught from North Carolina Courage to claim the 2019 Women’s International Champions Cup on Sunday.
The French side had reached the final by defeating Atletico Madrid 1-0, while NC Courage progressed courtesy of a 2-1 victory over Manchester City.
NC Courage were aiming to defend the trophy they won last year, but Dzsenifer Marozsan’s second-half goal for Lyon proved to be the difference between the two sides.
Nikita Parris and Amei Majri had good chances to put Lyon ahead in the first-half as the European champions dominated possession.
However, Courage nearly took the lead just before the break as Sam Mewis blasted a left-foot shot that Lyon keeper Sarah Bouhaddi did well to save.
The French side finally broke the deadlock in the 58th minute as Marozsan coolly converted after fine work by Lucy Bronze.
Courage controlled the latter part of the game, but Lyon’s defence held firm to secure a deserved 1-0 victory.
Lyon defender Wendie Renard, who picked up the Golden Ball award as the tournament’s best player after the game, said: “Tonight really highlights the work we’ve been doing last season during the off-season.
“We’re going home with a trophy in our pockets, and it feels good to have that.
“We know the Courage players from watching video, and we know a lot of them from the international level. We know that they just go.
“They’re fast – sometimes they don’t even look at where the ball goes, they just go forward. We were expecting that and felt like we were strong and didn’t have too many difficulties.”
City and Atletico went head-to-head in the third place play-off game earlier in the day and produced a classic encounter.
Lauren Hemp had opened the scoring for the English side in the first-half, but goals after the break by Virginia Torrecilla and Angela Sosa put Atletico ahead.
However, late goals by Janine Beckie and Tessa Wullaert snatched a 3-2 victory for City and handed them third place in the tournament.
City forward Georgia Stanway believes her side’s management of energy levels helped them battle back against the Spanish champions.
“It was an unbelievable comeback – it was a very hot day and the girls put in a good shift,” she said. “We left it late, but we got the result in the end and that shows the quality we’ve got.
“It’s pre-season and not only did we last the full game, but we came up trumps in the end. We got our gameplan right.
“In the first-half, we sat off and let them play so we could conserve our energy levels for towards the end. That showed in the last 15 minutes. We dominated and got two goals.”
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