Wednesday saw the Semifinals of the NWSL Challenge Cup take place, with the Houston Dash and Chicago Red Stars moving on to Sunday’s tournament final. The Pride Stan went 2-0 on the day after holding an 0-4 record following the Quarterfinals and we think it’s all because of the special sage.
No. 4 Houston Dash 1, No. 8 Portland Thorns FC 0
In the first semifinal of the day, the Houston Dash punched their ticket to the NWSL Challenge Cup Final, defeating the Portland Thorns 1-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
The difference came off the head of Rachel Daly in the 69th minute for the eventual game-winner, her third finish of the tournament. The goal served as the first for the Dash in over 300 minutes of play, their last coming in the second match of the preliminary rounds in a 2-0 victory over OL Reign.
While we were blocked by the Dash with the belief in the curse still very much alive, we still continued to stan throughout the afternoon.
No. 6 Chicago Red Stars 3, No. 7 Sky Blue FC 2
Wednesday’s second Semifinal gave us five goals...I know, you’re shocked.
The Red Stars jumped out to an early two-goal lead with finishes from Bianca St. Georges and Rachel Hill, scoring in the eighth and 11th minutes respectively and would then add to that lead in the 60th minute off the foot of Savannah McCaskill.
Sky Blue wouldn’t take that lying down however, with Evelyne Viens cutting the advantage to two in the 72nd minute followed by a Julie Ertz own goal five minutes later to slash the Red Stars’ lead to one.
The rally came up short in the end however for Sky Blue, sending Chicago through to the final of the NWSL Challenge Cup. Sunday will mark the second-consecutive final for the Red Stars, who fell to the North Carolina Courage in last year’s NWSL Championship match.
The Red Stars followed suit with the Dash and opted to block our Stan, but once again the sage pulled through and Chicago will face Houston on Sunday, July 26 in the NWSL Challenge Cup Final. That match will kick off at 12:30 p.m. ET and will be nationally televised on CBS.