19 July 2020

Chicago Red Stars edge past OL Reign on penalties to reach NWSL Challenge Cup semi-finals

Chicago Red Stars progressed to the semi-finals of the NWSL Challenge Cup after beating OL Reign on penalties after a goalless 90 minutes in Utah.

Lauren Barnes struck the post with the crucial spot kick to send Red Stars through to the last four.

Reign were dumped out of the NWSL Challenge Cup on penalties (SIPA USA/PA Images)

Red Stars keeper Alyssa Naeher impressed as she kept out Jessica Fishlock’s effort in the first half.

And the American shot stopper was called into action in the second half too as she parried away Reign defender Kristen McNabb's 30 yard drive.

Kealia Watt had Red Stars’ best chance of the match mid-way through the second period when she dribbled past three Reign players but failed to finish from six yards out.

And as the game went to penalties it was left to Barnes to strike her spot kick against the woodwork and send Red Stars into the semi-finals.

It was the third quarter-final out of four matches to go to penalties, with the only match decided in normal time being Portland Thorns 1-0 win over North Carolina Courage.

Red Stars will now face Sky Blue FC on Wednesday as they bid for a place in Sunday’s final.

The other semi-final, which is also being played on Wednesday, will see Portland Thorns take on Houston Dash.

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