Chicago Stuns Portland With 25-Yard Screamer To Make NWSL Championship

Sarah Woldmoe and Katie Johnson gave the Red Stars a 2-0 win over the Thorns.

After a period of dominance that yielded every trophy (2020 Fall Series, 2021 Challenge Cup, 2021 Women’s ICC, 2021 Shield) apart from the one that really matters, the top-seeded Portland Thorns suffered heartbreak on Sunday in the NWSL playoff semifinals to the Chicago Red Stars, despite the underdogs missing Mal Pugh, Casey Krueger, Kayla Sharples and losing Kealia Watt to injury in the 29th-minute. 

It was Watt’s substitute — Katie Johnson — who gave the Red Stars the advantage in the 37th minute with a shot from an impossible angle that caught Bella Bixby napping. 

Portland plotted a second-half comeback with Simone Charley entering the match, but that was immediately followed by a 25-yard stunner from Chicago’s Sarah Woldmoe.

The Red Stars put two shots on target (both with an incredibly low xG) and converted them. 

Chicago faces the Washington Spirit, upset winners over the OL Reign in Sunday’s earlier match, in the final on Saturday, Nov. 20 at Lynn Family Stadium in Louisville, Kentucky.

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