On Thursday, July 26th, Olympique Lyonnais and Manchester City will play each other in the second semifinal match of the Women's International Champions Cup. The match will be the first time the two teams have played one another since the 2017 UEFA Champions League semi-final.
Not an unusual match-up
These two teams are not an unusual competition. Although they aren't in the same league during the regular season, they have met up two previous times in the UEFA Women's Champions League tournament. In both the divisions Lyon and Man City are in, only the top two teams in the division go to the tournament. Lyon has been at the top of their division since 2007 where as Man City as only made it to the tournament three times. Both times the teams met was in the semi-finals.
In the 2016-17 season, the two teams met up for the first game of the series in Manchester. It was a rough start for City, as Lyon beat them 3-1 on their home turf. Once that match was over, it was Lyon's turn to host the match. The same luck of winning on away soil came to Manchester as they best Lyon 1-0. Unfortunately, the score was still 2-3 overall so Lyon went on to play Paris Saint-Germain in the finals.
Just the next year, the two teams would met up again the semi-final. Just like the previous year, Lyon would travel to Manchester for the first leg but their luck wasn't the same. By the end of the match, the teams were tied at 0-0 and would have to put their full focus on winning the next match. The two teams traveled to Lyon and played the second and final leg of the series. Lucy Bronze scored early in the first half to give Lyon the lead and eventually the win. Lyon would then go on to win their fifth Champions League trophy after beating Wolfsburg 4-1.
Another year, another semi-final
Manchester City is heading into the tournament with a win already over their shoulders after beating PSG in an pre-tournament match-up. Lyon on the other hand is heading into this game fresher and with more tallies in the series win column. Whoever wins this match will play in the final against the winners of the PSG vs North Carolina Courage game. Unlike previous semi-finals, the teams will only play one game and will not have to go through the travel like in the Champions League. If Manchester want to beat Lyon for the first time they will have to make sure they are on-top of their game.
It can be tough playing Lyon due to the amount of star-power they have but City has a roster filled with experience and talent as well. Although the travel and fatigue may hurt the City after the exhibition match it might help knowing they already have a win.
The teams will meet up at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida at 9:00pm EST. The game will not be streamed but results will be posted after the match.