The Courage captured its first NWSL title after beating Portland Thorns FC in a rematch of last year's final.

By Kaelen Jones
September 22, 2018

The North Carolina Courage defeated Portland Thorns FC 3-0 to win the 2018 National Women's Soccer League championship on Saturday.

The top-seeded Courage captured its first-ever NWSL title, defeating second-seeded Portland, the reigning champions, in a rematch of last year's final.

Midfielder Débora "Debinha" Cristiane de Oliveira poached forward Lynn Williams's cross that crashed off the frame, heading it through the net for the game's opening score in the 13th minute.

Forward Jessica McDonald snuck free behind the Portland defense and headed home defender Jaelene Hinkle's cross to give the Courage a two-goal advantage in the 40th minute.

McDonald would score a second goal during the 64th minute minute, heading defender Merritt Mathias's cross. While celebrating, she removed her jersey to reveal a shirt that said, "Jesus Paid It All" in all-caps lettering.

The match, which was hosted on Portland's homefield at Providence Park, welcomed a sellout crowd of 21,144, marking the most attended women's pro soccer championship match in U.S. history.

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