18 July 2020

Sky Blue FC upset Washington Spirit on penalities to progress to the NWSL Challenge Cup semi-final

Washington Spirit suffered heartbreak on penalties in their National Women’s Soccer League Challenge Cup quarter-final against Sky Blue FC.

Spirit headed into the match as favourites following their second place finish in the preliminary round but with no goals in 90 minutes Blue secured a 4-3 win at the shoot-out.

Neither side looked the stronger in the first 45 as not many chances were created in front of the goal.

Blue showed promising play but could not convert their chances.

While for Spirit their best chance came in the 42nd minute as Ashley Sanchez headed the ball but Kailen Sheridan dove to make a great save to keep the teams 0-0 at the break.

The second half was much of the same with neither side having many chances. Spirit’s Kumi Yokoyama had a good chance in the 53rd minute but she hit the crossbar.

And Blue’s Ifeoma Onumonu came close in the 70th but couldn’t convert her chance.

Things were all square as the final whistle blew and so the game headed straight to penalties. 

Blue’s Sarah Woldmoe scored her side’s first as she slotted hers into the right--hand corner. 

Spirit’s Rose Lavelle then stood up to the mark and scored in the exact same spot.

Blues’ Nahomi Kawasumi and Spirit’s Ashley Hatch scored their attempts which were followed by two blunders.

Blue’s Dominique Richardson’s shot was saved by Aubrey Bledsoe and Spirit’s Sam Staab sent hers over the crossbar.

With Blue’s McCall Zerboni and Elizabeth Eddy securing their penalties and Spirit’s Crystal Thomas bagging hers, all pressure fell to Spirit’s Bayley Feist who had to score to keep her team in the game.

Sheridan made a great save to keep Feist out and sent Blue’s into the semi-finals!

This is the second big upset of the tournament after Portland Thorns FC knocked out North Carolina Courage yesterday.

Houston Dash are also through after defeating Utah Royals.

Blue’s semi-final opponent will be determined this evening as OL Reign face off against Chicago Red Stars.

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