CHICAGO — Yuki Nagasato’s clutch goal in the 85th minute broke the deadlock and gave Chicago a 2-1 victory over the Utah Royals on Saturday.
Vanessa DiBernardo returned to the Chicago lineup with a bang. The midfielder opened the scoring for the Red Stars thanks to a long-distance rocket. It was the midfielder’s third goal of 2019.
The win was key for Chicago’s pursuit to host one of the NWSL semifinals, as the Red Stars maintain their second place ranking in the league standings with 44 points, they will await results on the final matchday of the regular season to determine their opponent in the NWSL Semifinals, taking place October 19-20.
18’ Tierna Davidson whips in a corner that causes chaos in the box. The ball ricochets off multiple players before in pinballs into the goalkeeper, but Nicole Barnhart keeps Utah level.
32’ Casey Short creates some separation from defenders with some wonderful dribbling. Her pass connects with a charging Nagasato, but there is not enough power on the shot to get past Barnhart.
40’ Vanessa Dibernardo hits a rocket. Following a free kick the ball is partially cleared from danger, but Dibernardo charges the ball after a tackle and hits a sublime shot past Barnhart and into the back of the net to give Chicago the lead.
41’ Utah equalizes through a Christen Press header.
70’ The Royals get a free kick and play it into the box. Katie Stengle gets enough of the ball to steer towards goal, but Julie Ertz has great awareness and clears the ball for a goal-line clearance.
85’ Nagasato comes up clutch. Katie Johnson has room to work with and creates a wonderful pass to Sam Kerr. Her shot is blocked by Barnhart, but Nagasato gets to the ball first and puts the ball into the back of an empty net for the winning goal.
- Nagasato continues her banner year. In addition to leading the league with eight assists, she has made a habit of scoring goals. Her eight goals this season are a career best during her time in the NWSL.
- Danielle Colaprico was this game’s ballhawk. She led the Red Stars with 87 total touches and nine tackles while taking on 17 duels.
- Chicago’s 85th-minute goal was the team’s 12th between the 76th-90th minute this season, the most amount of goals scored by the team during any time span.
- Chicago finishes the regular season on a five-game win streak, matching the franchise record set by the team earlier this season.
Chicago Red Stars vs Utah Royals
September 28, 2019
SeatGeek Stadium (Bridgeview, IL)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Chicago Red Stars 1 1 2
Utah Royals 1 0 1
CHI: Vanessa DiBernardo 40’
UTA: Christen Press 42’
CHI: Yuki Nagasato 85’
CHI: Casey Short (Yellow Card) 67’
CHI: GK Naeher, D Short, D Davidson, D Ertz ©, D Gorden, M Colaprico, M Brian (Naughton 87’), M DiBernardo (Stanton 77’), F Nagasato, F McCaskill (Katie Johnson 65’), F Kerr
UTA: GK Barnhart, D Jonsdottir, D Corsie, D Sauerbrunn, D Weber, M LaBonta, M Scott, M Boquete, F Stengel, F Press F Rodriguez
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial.