Familiar connection puts Chicago Red Stars into NWSL final | Pro Soccer USA
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. - After years of losing in the semifinals, the Chicago Red Stars finally broke through and did so via a familiar connection.
The Red Stars beat the Portland Thorns 1-0 on Sunday in an NWSL semifinal in front of a crowd of 9,218 at SeatGeek Stadium. The Red Stars advance to next week's final at the North Carolina Courage, which beat Reign FC in the other semifinal on Sunday. Chicago had lost in a semifinal each of the past four years.
Yuki Nagasato, the league's assist leader, found Sam Kerr, the league's leading goal scorer, for the game-winning goal. Nagasato lobbed a long ball that hit Kerr in stride. Kerr finished into the side netting in the eighth minute.
That was the only goal the Red Stars needed, but it wasn't easy the rest of the way. The Thorns gradually ramped up the pressure throughout the match.
Portland entered the match having scored one goal in the final five matches of the regular season. The Thorns' struggles near goal continued. Despite controlling the play for much of the match, especially in the second half, the Thorns rarely threatened Alyssa Naeher in the Chicago goal.
Next week's match will be the Red Stars' first appearance in the NWSL final.
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