The North Carolina Courage and the Chicago Red Stars will meet at Providence Park in the 2018 NWSL Playoffs on Tuesday night (9 p.m. ET on ESPNews) for a rematch of the 2017 NWSL Playoffs. Last year, the Courage knocked out the Red Stars 1-0 to advance to the Championship — so this year, the two teams will battle it out once again for a ticket to the final.
This year’s Courage and Red Stars match-up has been dramatic — with the two teams tying twice and the Courage exploding for a 4-1 win over the Red Stars in July. While the Courage have the slight edge on the year, at 1-0-2, the Red Stars are hungry to make up for last year’s late-game playoff heartbreak and remain just one of two teams to pick up multiple points from the league leaders.
— NWSL (@NWSL) September 14, 2018
The semifinal was originally scheduled to be played on Sunday, Sept. 16 at the Courage’s Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina, but the game has been moved to Providence Park on Tuesday due to Hurricane Florence.
A look back at the 2018 Courage vs. Red Stars:May 6: North Carolina Courage 1 | Chicago Red Stars 1
In the their first meeting since the 2017 NWSL playoffs, Chicago Red Stars goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher stole the show, collecting 11 saves to earn a point on the road. Golden Boot winner Sam Kerr scored her first goal in a Red Stars uniform to give her team a 1-0 lead in the 37th minute. For the Courage, it was midfielder McCall Zerboni who saved the Courage’s unbeaten streak scoring in the 82nd minute to level the game at 1-1. Watch the full game
July 4: North Carolina Courage 4 | Chicago Red Stars 1
Four different Courage players scored to set off fireworks at WakeMed Soccer Park on the Fourth of July. The Courage earned their 12th win of the season led by goals from Crystal Dunn, Lynn Williams, Debinha and Kristen Hamilton. The Red Stars only goal came off of a penalty kick taken by Yuki Nagasato. Heather O’Reilly made her 2018 NWSL debut, when she entered the game in the 75th minute. Watch the full game
August 10: Chicago Red Stars 1 | North Carolina Courage 1
In their final regular season meeting of the year, the Red Stars and Courage played to a defensive draw. Debinha scored for the Courage in the 22nd minute, but Kerr equalized in the 64th minute to keep her team in the playoff hunt. Kerr almost scored her second of the night in extra time, but Courage defender Merritt Mathias made a defensive tackle to keep her team unbeaten record on the road. Watch the full game