Chicago Red Stars stay unbeaten at home with 2-1 victory over Sky Blue FC

Vanessa DiBernardo and Sofia Huerta scored two great finishes to cancel out Madison Tiernan's opener

Chicago Red Stars stay unbeaten at home with 2-1 victory over Sky Blue FC
Arin Gilliland (left) and Madison Tiernan battle for possession. Source: Sky Blue FC
Chicago Red Stars
2 1
Sky Blue FC
Chicago Red Stars: Naeher; Short, Johnson, Naughton, Gilliland; Ertz; Colaprico (Comeau, min. 76), Huerta; DiBernardo; Press, Hoy (Mautz, min. 46)
Sky Blue FC: Sheridan; Mills, Freeman, Pearce, Simon (Skroski, min 52); Killion, Rodriguez (Hayes, min. 87); Meehan; Lytle (Corboz, min. 71), Tiernan; Kerr
SCORE: 0-1, min. 3, Tiernan. 1-1, min. 63, DiBernardo. 2-1, min. 67, Huerta.

Despite an early goal for the visitors, Sky Blue FC's winless record in NWSL play against the Chicago Red Stars continues after two moments of class for the home side in the second half.

Both sides inevitably made changes ahead of the brutal three-game week; Arin Gilliland came back into the Red Stars lineup after missing last match due to an excused absence, whilst fan-favourite Jen Hoy made what was only her fourth start of the season so far alongside Christen Press up top. The most notable change however was the omission of USWNT star Kelley O'Hara from the Sky Blue side.

Australian international Sam Kerr came into the match on a hot streak, having picked up the most recent Player of the Week and Player of the Month awards.

Sky Blue on cloud nine early

After the opening two minutes were all Red Stars pressure, a powerful run from Mackenzie Meehan earned a corner for the visitors. Taylor Lytle chipped a neat ball into the area and Madison Tiernan did an excellent job of getting around and under the ball to head a shot into the upper-right corner, with Alyssa Naeher rooted to the spot, stunning the Chicago crowd. The goal was the rookie's first in NWSL play.

Sky Blue FC celebrate their early opener. Source: NWSL
Sky Blue FC celebrate their early opener. Source: NWSL

After the shock awakening, Chicago started to find their feet and create once again. The first real opportunity saw Gilliland flying down the wing with space; she sent a low driven ball into the six-yard box and Press pulled out a back heel that was blocked out for a corner, which came to nothing.

The next shot was also for the home side, after a nice counter-attack that was started by Press. She set Sofia Huerta away, but when the ball was floated back in towards Hoy the attacker could only head the ball all the way across goal and wide.

Despite this, Sky Blue continued to look threatening when they did break forward as both Lytle and Kerr were making intelligent runs around the edge of the box.

Hoy lets chances go by

After the header attempt from Huerta's service, Hoy had two further chances in the first half that could easily have been goals. The second was a snapshot that flew way over the bar, but it was the third attempy that came closest; Julie Ertz battled to keep the ball alive and when it dropped at the feet of Hoy she spun and hit a bullet towards Kailen Sheridan's goal, but the Canadian keeper was happy to see it skim the outside of the post and head wide.

And Hoy payed the price for her mistakes, as she was replaced at half-time by Alyssa Mautz.

Chicago turn it around second half

Much like the first-half, the Red Stars had the most of the chances after the break. Mautz was a welcome addition to the attack, dribbling with pace and making some dangerous passes. She had a shot come close to equalising as she took a first time volley from a long ball over the backline, but Sheridan denied her with a dramatic, acrobatic save.

But Sheridan could do nothing minutes later, when Vanessa DiBernardo scored a goal to rival Carli Lloyd for Goal of the Week honours.

The midfielder wasn't tackled as she dribbled towards the top of the box, and by the time Christie Pearce made a move to stop the run she had already unleashed a beautiful shot high into the upper-ninety.

And just minutes later the turnaround was complete, as Huerta brought down a ball from Casey Short and was able to turn and fire a shot through a tiny space between two defenders and into the far corner.

Sky Blue failed to really challenge for an equaliser, and the hosts closed out the victory with relative ease.

Good looking forward for the Red Stars

Tonight Chicago picked up their first come-from-behind win of the season, especially important as they now head on a four-game road trip. First they travel to the Seattle Reign on Wednesday, before flying cross-country to Orlando Pride for a Saturday match.

The only negative for the home side is the injury to Danielle Colaprico - the midfielder was forced off late in the match, although the extent of her injury is currently unknown.

Sky Blue will be disappointed to have lost the game, but the performances at the back from Pearce and Mandy Freeman were key positives in the match. They'll hope to get back to winning ways when they host Orlando midweek.