In sports we always talk about the battle of David vs Goliath. Can the heavy underdog come out and upset the monster favorite. Well, what we had at Providence Park on Sunday was the opposite of that cliché storyline.
Instead, it was Goliath vs Goliath. Two monsters of the NWSL going at it for a chance to jump to the top of the league standings. The matchup between North Carolina and Portland has quickly become a marquee main event, not just in the NWSL, but in American soccer.
Including North Carolina’s time as the Western New York Flash, (they moved to North Carolina in 2017) the Courage and Thorns have combined to win four the NWSL’s six league championships. No other team outside of these two has won the championship since 2015. In fact, no other team has even played in the championship match since 2016.
Portland beat North Carolina in the championship match in 2017, and North Carolina won the championship rematch in 2018. The two could be on a crash course for a third championship matchup in as many seasons, but first, they had some regular-season business to take care of.
In front of a Thorns and new NSWL record crowd of 25,218, the Thorns pulled off the 2-1 victory over the Courage. Unfortunately for the Courage it was two own goals that gave Portland the victory. Well, two own goals and an incredible home-field advantage.
Two own goals by @TheNCCourage. 1️⃣0️⃣ @ADizzle23 saves. Victory for @ThornsFC.
Recap #PORvNC in 60 seconds. pic.twitter.com/DcintxDffd
– NWSL (@NWSL)
August 11, 2019
Fans fill Providence Park:
The home-field advantage was on full display Sunday. 25,000 plus sold-out Providence Park to watch the to best teams in the league go at. It seems like every week the NWSL is setting an attendance record, the league at an all-time high following the Women’s World Cup. But Providence Park has always been at the head of the pack.
Courage head coach Paul Riley, who coached the Thorns from 2014-2015 said of the attendance, “it’s a fabulous place. The atmosphere was fantastic. We didn’t keep the crowd quiet enough… It’s a pleasure to play here, to be honest with you. If every game could be played here it would be great for the league.”
Current Thorns head coach Mark Parsons gets to experience this home crowd for half of the season, but it hasn’t lost its luster. “the advantage of being in the best place …read more
Source:: Daily Times