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NWSL players keel in solidarity with Black Lives Matter movement ahead of Challenge Cup opener

The NWSL Challenge Cup got underway on Saturday, as the North Carolina Courage bagged a 2-1 victory over the Portland Thorns.

Debinha scored the opener for North Carolina in the 75th minute, with Lynn Williams bagging a dramatic late winner in second-half stoppage time after Portland’s Simone Charley scored the equalizer in the 80th.

Prior the matchup, both teams kneeled during the national anthem in a pregame show of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

Debinha opened the scoring with a flicked header, finishing off a pinpoint cross from Hailie Mace, who had subbed on just three minutes earlier.

Following Charley’s equalizer, it was Williams who played the hero role on a similar-looking sequence, heading home the winner off another cross from the right flank to snatch the victory for the Courage. Watch it below.

The Challenge Cup will continue on Saturday as the Chicago Red Stars take on the Washington Spirit before resuming on Tuesday when the Houston Dash take on Utah Royals FC and OL Reign face off against Sky Blue FC.

Check out the full schedule here and find more information about the tournament here.

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