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OCT 27
3:30 PM ET
ESPN
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Red Stars and Courage play to a 1-1 draw
Red Stars move to fourth place in the standings
North Carolina Courage forward Debinha opened up scoring in the 22nd minute. (Photo credit: isiphotos.com)
North Carolina Courage forward Debinha opened up scoring in the 22nd minute. (Photo credit: isiphotos.com)

The Chicago Red Stars and the North Carolina Courage played to a 1-1 draw at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois on Friday night.

The Courage entered Week 20 fresh off claiming the 2018 NWSL Shield, while the Red Stars were back in action for the first time since July 14 in need of points with the playoff race heating up.

Debinha scored for the Courage in the 22nd minute and Sam Kerr scored the Red Stars equalizer in the 64th minute. The Courage are now 15-1-5 (50 pts) overall and the Red Stars improve to 7-4-8 which ties them with Portland Thorns FC in fourth place with 29 points.

Courage midfielder Debinha opened up the scoring on the night in the 21st minute heading home her seventh goal of the season. Courage forward Crystal Dunn escaped pressure from Red Stars defender Casey Short and played through Courage forward Jess McDonald down the right flank. McDonald crossed it into the box where Debinha was crashing. Debinha leaped towards the ball in full force, heading it past Red Stars goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher.

Despite the goal, the Red Stars held a slight advantage of the possession in the first half at 50.6% to the Courage’s 49.7%. Red Stars forward Yuki Nagasato weaved together her team’s line of defense and attack making two key passes on the night. In the 38th minute a nice Red Stars build up was topped off by Nagasato playing through Alyssa Mautz who’s cross was eventually blocked by Courage defender Abby Erceg.

In the second half the Red Stars got a header goal of their own courtesy of Kerr in the 64th minute. Kerr headed home her tenth goal of the season (53rd of her NWSL career) to make it 1-1. Red Stars midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo made a left-footed service into the path of Kerr in the box and she headed it past Courage goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland.

Before Chicago’s goal, Morgan Brian got her best chance of the night turning and ripping one near post with her left foot. She finished with three shots on the night.

Debinha almost got her second of the night off of a free kick chance in the 67th minute. Debinha rocketed it near post, but her shot went just high.

Then it was Kerr who almost scored the game winner in extra time, but Courage defender Merritt Mathias made the tackle to secure the draw on the road.

The Red Stars held the better of the possession on the night, yet the Courage had a better passing accuracy of 73% to the Red Stars’ 66.2%. The Courage took 18 shots and the Red Stars took 10. The Courage next host the Orlando Pride on Saturday, August 18 and the Red Stars meet the Reign for a midweek match-up on Wednesday, August 15.

 

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