Chicago Red Stars 2 DiBernardo 63’, Huerta 67’
Sky Blue FC 1 Tiernan 3’
I know that the Red Stars aren’t invincible. They can be beat. They lost two of their first three of the season.
But days like Sunday make you feel like nothing can stop them.
How else do you explain this team losing 1-0 for most of the game and then grabbing two in four minutes to win the whole thing?
And yeah, it was ugly at times. The win never looked like a sure thing. There was a lot of Whatevering late in the second half. But this is still a team that refuses to go down quietly.
This is, unfortunately, also a team that needs to sort out its set piece defending. Sky Blue’s Madison Tiernan took advantage of that soft spot in the opening minutes to put the visitors ahead.
3' - @MadisonTiernan with the header scores to give @SkyBlueFC an early lead. #CHIvNJ pic.twitter.com/qKnc8iHKz2— NWSL (@NWSL) June 25, 2017
The goal itself wasn’t the problem. Stuff happens. Corners are tricky.
The problem is that the Red Stars spent the better part of an hour banging their heads against the wall. There’s a difference between trying to get back into a game and failing, and... whatever the Red Stars did for much of the first half. The teams went into the tunnel at halftime and I had two thoughts.
One, that the Red Stars were going to lose this thing and their unbeaten streak.
Two, that it’s no less than they deserved.
And when they came out for the second half still unclear on what they were supposed to do next, one could be forgiven for indulging despair.
63' - #CHI Goal - What a long range strike from @chicagoredstars' @vdibernardo10!!! We are all tied up at 1-1. #CHIvNJ pic.twitter.com/iWbsqrSccS— NWSL (@NWSL) June 25, 2017
Once I caught my breath from the goal, I started emotionally preparing for a draw. A draw at home isn’t great, but sometimes it’s the best you can hope for. I accept that, but I still have to psych myself up for it. To sand down the sharp edges of disappointment into something I can handle. Something I can swallow.
While I was preparing emotionally for the eventual draw, Sofia Huerta did this.
67' - #CHI Goal - What a finish by @schuerta who finds a seam and fires a shot into the side netting. #CHIvNJ pic.twitter.com/F3ZFsjtZDx— NWSL (@NWSL) June 25, 2017
I shouldn’t have doubted. I always doubt, and I always will doubt, but I shouldn’t have this time.
The rest of the second half was... well, you know. It was whatever. At that point I was almost glad for the game to be boring. Boring games are just fine with me when my team is winning. I’ll take it any day.
Chicago, of course, held on for the win and kept their streak alive. It was ugly. And I loved it.
The Red Stars (6W 2L 2D, 2nd place) kick off a four-game road trip on Wednesday with a trip to Seattle.