Racing Louisville kicks off Women’s Cup with 2-0 win over AC Milan

Racing Louisville beats AC Milan 2-0 in Women's Cup
Racing Louisville beats AC Milan 2-0 in Women's Cup(Connor Cunningham)
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 11:40 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. - New signing Wang Shuang and star forward Nadia Nadim scored on Wednesday to help Racing Louisville FC beat Italian club AC Milan, 2-0, and advance to The Women’s Cup final for the second consecutive year.

Racing will host fellow NWSL club OL Reign at 7 p.m. Saturday at Lynn Family Stadium to decide which American side takes home The Women’s Cup trophy.

OL reign rallied to beat Mexico’s Club America, 2-1, in the other semifinal earlier Wednesday, while Tokyo Verdy Beleza edged London-based Tottenham Hotspur, 2-1, in the fifth-place match.

“Overall it was a good performance for us,” said Racing coach Kim Björkegren. “The first 30 minutes of the game was one of the better starts we’ve had this season. We controlled the game, and we created a lot of chances.”

For Racing, the first win in nearly three months came in large part because of a fast start. Nadim nodded in a header off midfielder Savannah DeMelo’s beautifully-placed free kick to open the scoring in the 13th minute, and Wang volleyed in a fantastic goal from 19 yards out to double Racing’s lead 11 minutes later.

From there, Racing had two other goals ruled out as it produced a number of chances and controlled most of the match.

Wang, who joined Racing last week, showed why she is a mainstay in the Chinese national team and considered a midfield maestro, consistently playing smart passes into dangerous channels and earning Player of the Match honors.

“She’s amazing,” Racing forward Kirsten Davis said of Wang. “She (hasn’t) been here too long, and everyone loves her so much. She’s already making such a big impact for us, and she’s so easy to play with. She’s smart and knows the game so well.”

Much of the action in the earlier semifinal came in the second half. Club America scored first through Kiana Palacios, who turned in a deflection off a corner in the 60th minute. But OL Reign equalized 18 minutes later with a rocket of a shot from Tziarra King, whose well-struck, curling effort found the far corner of the net from 18 yards out.

Olivia Van der Jagt was credited with the game-winner three minutes later after she nudged in the go-ahead goal amid a scrum in front of Club America’s frame.

The win sets up the third meeting this year between OL Reign and Racing, with the teams tying on both occasions – 2-2 in Seattle in May and 1-1 in Louisville just two weeks ago.

And for Racing, a chance to again claim The Women’s Cup trophy arises. Louisville bested German club Bayern Munich in a penalty shootout last year to claim the inaugural tournament here in Louisville.

“We know OL Reign and how good they are and how good they can be,” said Racing midfielder Freja Olofsson, who was part of last year’s TWC-winning squad. “It all comes down to what we need to do as a team – don’t focus too much on OL Reign. We can build off of this win, (with things) like being comfortable on the ball and scoring some goals. That’s what we have to do.”

Game Summary: Racing Louisville FC vs. AC Milan

Date: August 17, 2022

Venue: Lynn Family Stadium

Weather: 80 degrees, breezy

Player of the Match: Wang Shuang, Racing Louisville

Scoring

Racing Louisville (2, 0, 2)

AC Milan (0, 0, 0)

Goals

Racing Louisville FC:

13′ Nadia Nadim (Savannah DeMelo)

24′ Wang Shuang

Stats: Racing Louisville FC / AC Milan

Shots: 9 / 5

Shots on Goal: 3 / 3

Corner Kicks: 3 / 1

Fouls: 11 / 13

Yellow Cards: 1 / 3

Red Cards: 0 / 0

Offside: 5 / 2

Game Summary: OL Reign vs. Club America

Date: August 17, 2022

Venue: Lynn Family Stadium

Weather: 80 degrees, sunny

Player of the Match: Tziarra King, OL Reign

Scoring

OL Reign (0, 2, 2)

Club América (0, 1, 1)

Goals

OL Reign:

78′ Tziarra King

81′ Olivia Van Der Jagt (Veronica Latsko)

Club América:

60′ Kiana Palacios

Stats: OL Reign / Club América

Shots: 4 / 12

Shots on Goal: 2 / 4

Corner Kicks: 4 / 10

Fouls: 5 / 6

Yellow Cards: 1 / 0

Red Cards: 0 / 0

Offside: 5 / 1

Game Summary: Tokyo Verdy Beleza vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Date: August 17, 2022

Venue: Lynn Family Stadium

Weather: 80 degrees

Player of the Match: Riko Ueki, Tokyo Verdy Beleza

Scoring

Tottenham Hotspur (0, 1, 1)

Tokyo Verdy (1, 1, 2)

Goals

Tottenham:

56′ Rosella Ayene (Jessica Naz)

Tokyo Verdy:

20′ Riko Ueki (Momoka Kinoshita)

82′ Azusa Iwashimizu

Stats: Tottenham Hotspur / Tokyo Verdy

Shots: 9 / 16

Shots on Goal: 4 / 5

Corner Kicks: 1 / 8

Fouls: 9 / 9

Yellow Cards: 0 / 1

Red Cards: 0 / 0

Offside: 1 / 0

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