Westfield W-League stars claim NWSL title in USA

Westfield W-League stars Hayley Raso and Ashleigh Sykes have claimed the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) title with Portland Thorns following a tense final on Sunday (AEST).

The Aussie pair both started for the Thorns as they secured a nail-biting 1-0 win over North Carolina Courage at Orlando City Stadium.

Sykes was withdrawn on 54 minutes while Raso got through 69 minutes before being replaced for the final 20 minutes.

Lindsey Horan netted the game’s only goal just five minutes after the break, with the USA international firing home from close range following a free kick.

North Carolina pushed hard for an equaliser as the second half progressed but a desperate Thorns defence held firm for a thrilling victory.

The win sees Portland claim their second NWSL title following their 2013 triumph over Western New York Flash.

These two sides finished the regular season well clear at the top of the ten-team NWSL table.

North Carolina topped the table with 49 points, two points clear of second-placed Portland.

All three matches between the sides this season finished 1-0, with Portland winning the final two – including the Final – after the Courage claimed a win way back in Round 2.