21 October 2019

NWSL semi-finals: Chicago Red stars and North Carolina Courage win to send them to the final

It wasn't a happy weekend for the Portland Thorns or Reign FC after they were both knocked out of the National Women's Soccer League.

The Portland Thorns lost 1-0 to the Chicago Red Stars. Sam Kerr scored in the ninth minute to put her team ahead and the Thorns couldn't find a response.

The Thorns have not had a good spell of form recently. They had only won one game in the last five and they had only scored one goal in that time.

Chicago's Kerr however is on fine scoring form having broken her own record this season with 18 goals in 21 matches. This secured another golden boot win for the Australian.

Chicago celebrate their goal (PA Images)

Megan Rapinoe was hoping to add to her tournament-winning season but her side Reign FC were demolished 4-1 by North Carolina Courage.

The US soccer legend has never won the NWSL title.

Courage were favourites going into the match after winning the NWSL Shield. The team topped the table of the regular season for the third consecutive year.

Courage didn't let the bookies down, though Reign held on for nearly the entire match. Retiring Courage star Heather O'Reilly scored a penalty in the 88th minute to put her team ahead. Reign's Ifeoma Onumonu hit back in the 93rd to push the match to extra time.

Crystal Dunn, Lauren Barnes and Debora Cristiane de Oliveira all added their names to Courage's score sheet to quash any of Reign's hope for a final place, the match finishing 4-1.

This sets up a repeat of last year's final with Portland Thorns vying for revenge after North Carolina Courage beat them 3-0.

The two teams will compete this Sunday in North Carolina. 

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