Sam Kerr’s winner puts Red Stars into NWSL final with Courage

first_imgReuse this content Topics Share on Twitter Share on WhatsApp Share on LinkedIn news US sports NWSLcenter_img Share via Email Share on Pinterest Share on Facebook Women’s football Share on Messenger Australia’s Sam Kerr scored in the ninth minute as the Chicago Red Stars advanced to the National Women’s Soccer League final with a 1-0 victory over the Portland Thorns on Sunday. Kerr, the league’s Golden Boot winner, scored 18 goals in 21 matches to break her own league record for goals in a single season. Widely expected to leave the NWSL and play in Europe next season, Kerr’s goal on Sunday was her first ever in the playoffs.The Thorns, who finished third in the standings with an 11-6-7 record, had won just once in the last five matches with only one goal over that span. Portland had not dropped a match to the Red Stars since the 2013 season.In the day’s other semi-final, Debinha scored a free kick in extra-time to put her team in the lead, and the North Carolina Courage went on to defeat Reign FC 4-1 in extra time.The Courage, who won the NWSL Shield for the third straight year with a league-best 15-5-4 record, will face the Red Stars in the final next weekend. Heather O’Reilly, who is retiring at the end of this season, scored a penalty in the 88th minute to give the Courage the lead. Before the penalty, Reign goalkeeper Casey Murphy held off a barrage of shots with eight saves. Ifeoma Onumonu, who came in as a substitute for the Reign in the 79th minute, scored in stoppage time to send the match into overtime.Debinha’s goal came in the 99th minute for the Courage, who set a league record with 54 goals in the regular season. North Carolina padded the lead with an own goal and another goal from Crystal Dunn.The Reign’s season ends amid rumors that coach Vlatko Andonovski is the front-runner to coach the US national team. Jill Ellis, who led the team to back-to-back World Cup victories, stepped down earlier this month. Courage coach Paul Riley and Utah Royals coach Laura Harvey have announced they aren’t pursuing the post.last_img read more