USWNT REWIND: Champions League Semifinals Set, Challenge Cup Underway

Club play quickly resumed following the conclusion of the April FIFA international window and the U.S. Women’s National Team’s two-game trip to Europe which resulted in a 1-1 draw against Sweden on April 10 in Stockholm and a 2-0 victory over France on April 13 in Le Havre.

France was the location for the marquee match of the weekend, as French sides Olympique Lyonnais and Paris Saint-Germain met in the second leg of the UEFA Women’s Champions League Quarterfinal. The highly anticipated matchup was originally scheduled for March 31, but was postponed to April 18 due to positive COVID-19 tests within the OL designation, which also
impacted availability during the international break. Lyon won the opening leg, 1-0 in Paris on March 24 and looked to be well on their way to continuing their pursuit of a sixth-consecutive Champions League title when U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder Catarina Macario scored in the fourth minute. The goal was Macario’s second in as many appearances for OL and the second professional goal overall for the 21-year-old attacker as well as her first in Champions League.



WATCH: Macario Scores Opening Goal in Champions League Quarterfinal



 


Despite the early deficit, PSG quickly responded and dictated tempo and energy for much of the match, producing an equalizer in the 24th minute. PSG took the lead for good in 61st minute, following an own goal from OL defender Wendie Renard and closed out the match to advance to the semifinal round, thanks to a 2-1 advantage on away goals. U.S. defender Alana Cook, who was called into the USWNT’s recent camp in Europe, came on in the 87th minute to help PSG see out the win. Cook and PSG will face FC Barcelona at 9 a.m. ET on April 25 in the first leg of the semifinal series. Paris Saint-Germain will be looking to return to the final for the first time since 2017 while Barcelona, who eliminated Manchester City 5-2 on aggregate in the quarterfinals, finished runner-up to OL last season.

Lyon returns to the field on April 24, facing Guingamp in league play. OL is currently second in the French First Division standings, trailing PSG by four points with a game in hand.

While no longer in contention for the 2021 Champions League trophy, Manchester City’s title hopes remain very much alive, both in the FA Cup and the Women’s Super League. The reigning FA Cup champions started its title defense on Saturday with an 8-0 victory over Aston Villa in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup. Abby Dahlkemper started and played all 90 minutes for City on defense, while her U.S. teammates Rose Lavelle and Samantha Mewis both came on in the 61st minute and each scored. Lavelle’s goal came in the 72nd minute, a left-footed one-touch finish off a cutback from Canadian international Janine Beckie. Mewis added a goal of her own in the 90th minute, smashing home a near-post finish with her left foot after tracking down a ball over the top of the Villa defense. Manchester City’s top scorer this season, Mewis now has 14 goals in 28 appearances across all competitions.

Manchester City returns to action on April 21, hosting Chelsea in a match with massive implications for the Women’s Super League title. Chelsea currently sits atop the table with 50 points through 19 matches, just two points clear of City’s 48 points in second place with only three matches remaining in league play for both teams. Chelsea has a superior overall goal difference by five goals.

Manchester United defeated Burnley, 6-0, in its FA Cup Fourth Round matchup on Sunday. Christen Press, who tallied an assist in the USA’s April 13 victory over France, subbed on in the 59th minute for the Red Devils. Fellow USA forward Tobin Heath has been ruled out for the remainder of the season and has returned to the U.S. to rehab a knee injury, the club announced earlier in the week.

Stateside, the 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup is well underway, with eight matches already completed. The 21-game tournament kicked off on April 9, with a 0-0 draw in the rematch of the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup final between the Chicago Red Stars and the Houston Dash. The league’s 10 teams have been split into an Eastern and Western Division and will each play four games each – two home, two away. The top team from the East will face the top team from the West in the Challenge Cup final on May 8.

Information on upcoming matches featuring U.S. Women’s National Team players can be found below. All times listed are ET.

 

Tuesday, April 20

NJ/NY Gotham FC vs. North Carolina Courage

NWSL Challenge Cup

6:00 p.m.

Paramount+

Wednesday, April 21

Manchester City vs. Chelsea

Women’s Super League

1:00 p.m.

Atafootball.com, NBCSN

Chicago Red Stars vs. Kansas City

NWSL Challenge Cup

6:30 p.m.

Paramount+

Orlando Pride vs. Washington Spirit

NWSL Challenge Cup

7:00 p.m.

Paramount+

Portland Thorns FC vs. OL Reign

NWSL Challenge Cup

10:00 p.m.

Paramount+

Saturday, April 24

Guingamp vs. Olympique Lyonnais

Feminine Division 1

9:15 a.m.

Atafootball.com

Sunday, April 25

Manchester United vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Women’s Super League

7:30 a.m.

Atafootball.com, NBCSN

Paris Saint-Germain vs. Barcelona

UEFA Women’s Champions League

9:00 a.m.

beIN SPORTS XTRA

 

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