The Chicago Red Stars salvaged a point at home after drawing the first-place North Carolina Courage on Friday night. Brazilian-international Debinha opened up scoring for the visitors in the 22nd minute while 2017 NWSL MVP and Australian-international Samantha Kerr scored her 10th goal of the season to even it up in the 64th minute. Kerr is currently tied for the most goals this season with Courage forward Lynn Williams and Portland Thorns FC midfielder Lindsey Horan.
The 1-1 draw gave Chicago a much-needed point to help them in their push for the playoffs. They currently have 29 points and a 7-4-8 record while North Carolina have 50 points and a 15-1-5 record. The Courage are now four points away from tying the record for most points in a season held by the 2014 Seattle Reign FC squad. North Carolina has a chance to break the record with three matches left for them to play.
Both sides even on stats
While North Carolina had more shots, 18-10 and shots on goal, 4-1, both sides were evenly matched. Chicago had the slight advantage when it came to possession with 50.4% to North Carolina’s 49.6%. The Red Stars led in corners taken 6-5 while the Courage led crosses 27-25.
Defensively, the Courage won 51 duels to 44, had 17 tackles one to nine and made 25 clearances to 21. However, goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher dominated with three saves while Katelyn Rowland had zero, letting Chicago’s only shot on goal make it into the back of the net.
A goal in each half makes it 1-1
Debinha opened scoring in the first half via a Jessica McDonald service. Crystal Dunn sent the ball out to McDonald on the right flank where she dribbled the ball down to the end line and crossed it back into the box, over the head of Williams and to Debinha who headed it into the back of the net for her seventh goal of the season.
Chicago had been working to find an equalizer after that and succeeded 20 minutes into the second half. After Vanessa DiBernardo’s corner kick was cleared out of the box, the midfielder gathered the ball and crossed it back in to Kerr who headed it into the net for her 10th goal of the season. Williams almost found a late game-winner, but the goal was called back for a foul, leaving the score 1-1.
Chicago will travel west to take on Seattle in a midweek National Women's Soccer League battle on Wednesday August 15 before taking on Portland on the road on Saturday August 18. Kick off for both Wednesday and Saturday’s battles are 7:30 p.m. PT. Wednesday’s match will be streamed on NWSLSoccer.com while Saturday’s game will be aired on ESPNNews. The Courage will continue their road trip to take on the Orlando Pride on Saturday with kickoff for that match scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET with streaming on the NWSL website.