CHICAGO – The Chicago Red Stars advance to their first-ever National Women’s Soccer League Championship game after they defeated the Portland Thorns 1-0 in the NWSL Semifinal on Sunday. Red Stars forward Sam Kerr put her club on top in the eights minute when she raced onto a beautiful lobbed pass from teammate Yuki Nagasato and stuck it in the far left corner of the Portland net. As the game progressed, Chicago goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher and Portland goalkeeper Adrianna Franch each made fantastic saves down the stretch to keep their teams in the match. In the end, Portland couldn’t break through the Chicago defense and the Red Stars won 1-0 in front of over 9,000 fans at SeatGeek Stadium.
8’ Yuki Nagasato’s lobbed pass finds Kerr streaking down the field and the Red Stars forward strikes it home to put Chicago up 1-0
79’ Adrianna Franch does very well to deny Vanessa DiBernardo a beautiful goal as she tips the Chicago midfielders out of the box shot over the crossbar.
83’ Midge Purce strikes the ball hard and low at goal but Alyssa Naeher is there and she gathers it cleanly to keep the score 1-0.
- Morgan Brian bossed the midfield, especially in Portland’s half where she had an 86% pass completion rate which helped keep the pressure on the Thorn backline.
- The Tierna Davidson and Julie Ertz center back partnership continues to work wonders as both players lead the team in clearances with eight each.
- When Sarah Gorden wasn’t bursting up the field she was locking it down in the back where she gained possession a team-high 16 times to help disrupt the Portland offense.
- Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher made two huge saves to deny the Thorns a tying goal and keep her seventh clean sheet of the season.
- Sam Kerr led the team with three shots on target and her first career postseason goal sends Chicago to their first-ever NWSL championship game.
The Red Stars travel to Cary, North Carolina to take on the North Carolina Courage in the 2019 NWSL Championship Final on Sunday, October 27th at 3:30 p.m. E.T.
Chicago Red Stars vs Portland Thorns
October 20, 2019
SeatGeek Stadium (Bridgeview, IL)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Chicago Red Stars 1 0 1
Portland Thorns 0 0 0
CHI: Sam Kerr (Yuki Nagasato) 9’
POR: Elizabeth Ball (Yellow Card) 45’
POR: GK Franch, D Reynolds, D Sonnett, D Menges, D Klingenberg (Foord 80’), M Horan, M Brynjarsdóttir, M Ball (Raso 45’), F Heath, F Andressinha (Purce 66’), F Sinclair
CHI: GK Naeher, D Short, D Ertz, D Gorden, D Davidson, M Colaprico, M Brian, M DiBernardo, F Nagasato, F McCaskill (Naughton 75’), F Kerr