NWSL wrap: Raso returns and Williams keeps a clean sheet

The league leaders beaten for the first time this season, last place nearly pinched a point against Orlando Pride, and an all-Aussie showdown ended in a share of the points.

There were Westfield Matildas on hand, playing a role in all the National Women’s Soccer League action on Sunday morning (AEST).

CHICAGO RED STARS v PORTLAND THORNS

A goal for each team either side of half-time seen this match finish in a 1-all draw, but it was one littered with good saves and close calls.

Hayley Raso made her long-awaited return from injury off the bench for Portland in the 76th minute, while Ellie Carpenter started on the right wing and had a few sighters on goal.

Westfield Matildas talisman Sam Kerr played a full game for Chicago and had her share of chances, but was denied by good goalkeeping.

Utah’s shock win over North Carolina edged both Chicago and Portland out of the top four, with just three points now separating 2nd and 6th place.

NORTH CAROLINA COURAGE v UTAH ROYALS FC

12 games unbeaten and approaching an NWSL record, North Carolina Courage must have thought they were about to go 13 without a loss until a 94th-minute stunner from Utah’s Brittany Ratcliffe proved heartbreaker.

Katrina Gorry started the match for Utah Royals but had been substituted off for the match-winner Ratcliffe with fifteen minutes to play.

The 1-0 win catapulted Utah into the top four.

ORLANDO PRIDE v SKY BLUE

They lead twice, but Orlando Pride still had to rely on an 83rd-minute goal to secure a 3-2 victory over cellar dwellers Sky Blue.

Westfield Matilda Emily van Egmond was substituted shortly after half-time, while Alanna Kennedy played the whole game.

The win puts Orlando third, level on points with second place Seattle Reign.

WASHINGTON SPIRIT v SEATTLE REIGN

A 0-0 draw which was anything but a bore, Seattle missed the chance to make ground on league leaders North Carolina after they were held to nil.

Westfield Matildas stars Lydia Williams and Steph Catley were immense in keeping a clean sheet for Seattle, who are now tied with Orlando Pride in second.

Seattle did miss a golden opportunity to take all three points as they failed to convert a penalty in the 52nd minute.

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This article was originally published on the Westfield Matildas website.
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