Goalkeeper Lydia Williams has come out on top in the battle of the Westfield Matildas in their National Women’s Soccer League clash on Thursday afternoon (AEST).
Williams’ Seattle Reign hosted Sam Kerr’s Chicago Red Stars is a match with big finals ramifications, with neither side able to capitalise on their opportunities in a gripping 0-0 draw.
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While the Reign hit the post late on in their best chance to take all three points, they needed Williams at the top of her game to ensure they salvaged a draw.
And the Aussie shot-stopper, who has been in sensational form all season, pulled off a stunning save early in the second-half to deny Kerr.
The NWSL’s greatest-ever scoring looked certain to score from close range when she was set up by Vanessa Di Bernardo, but Williams made herself big to somehow keep the ball out.
Kerr than had another chance 10 minutes from time when her driving run from wide on the left before playing a one-two with a teammate to be through on goal, only to fire into the side netting.
Despite missing out on all three points, Chicago has moved into the top four with the draw, level on points with Orlando Pride but with a five-goal better goal difference.
The Reds Stars also have a game in hand.
Meanwhile, Seattle remains in second spot, five clear of Portland Thorns.
There’s another full round of NWSL matches this weekend, with Kerr’s Red Stars travelling to play the Thorns, who have Hayley Raso, Ellie Carpenter and Caitlin Foord in their squad.
Kyah Simon and Clare Polkinghorne’s Houston Dash face a must-win clash against Washington Spirit, Katrina Gorry’s Utah Royals travel to Sky Blue FC and Alanna Kennedy and Emily van Egmond’s Pride face the league-leaders North Carolina Courage, while Williams and Steph Catley’s Reign have the weekend off.