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Portland Thorns Defeat North Carolina Courage in Quarter-Final Upset

Soccer

Remember when we told you (more than once) that the North Carolina Courage were the heavy favorites to win the NWSL Challenge Cup? Well, about that...

July 20, 2020
MADDIE MEYER/GETTY IMAGES
MADDIE MEYER/GETTY IMAGES

The GIST: Remember when we told you (more than once) that the North Carolina Courage were the heavy favorites to win the NWSL Challenge Cup? Well, about that...

What happened?: After absolutely owning the group stage of the Cup, the first-place Courage faced the last-place Portland Thorns FC in the quarter-finals...and lost. Morgan Weaver scored the lone goal for Portland to win 1–0 in the most unpredictable upset of the tournament. This must be what Drake was singing about.

  • And that wasn’t the only underdog story of the weekend (wait, this must be what Alicia Keys was singing about). The No. 2 Washington Spirit, who were thought to be a shoo-in for the semis, lost to the No. 7 Sky Blue FC in a penalty shoot-out. Theirs was the second of three quarter-finals to end in a 0–0 draw and be decided by penalties. Wild.

So what now?: Now we look ahead to Wednesday’s semifinals. Portland will face Houston Dash, who qualified fourth in the group stage, in the daytime match at 12:30 p.m. ET. And for our nighttime entertainment, Sky Blue FC will take on the Chicago Red Stars at 10 p.m. ET.

  • We’re not going to make any predictions (because, er, last week did not go well), so we’ll just say that we’re super pumped to watch Portland star and GOAT Christine Sinclair at least one more time.

Any MLS news?: We’re at the tail end of the MLS Is Back Tournament’s group stage, and a few teams are on the chopping block. A must-watch match this week? Toronto FC vs. New England Revolution tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. ET. Should be a banger.