The Chicago Red Stars picked up their first win of the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup on Sunday night. Casey Short's late goal gave the Red Stars a 1-0 victory over the Utah Royals as both teams closed out their preliminary round schedules in the eight-team tournament.
Short headed home a goal in the 85th minute to give her side the victory. It was Chicago's first win in four games, and the Red Stars finished group play with four points. Chicago notched its second shutout of the tournament in the win, and the Red Stars allowed only one goal over their final three games -- and that came against the first-place North Carolina Courage.
The Royals were held scoreless for their second consecutive game and they'll head into next weekend's quarterfinals off of back-to-back losses. Utah did see the return of 31-year-old star Kelley O'Hara, who played the final 20 minutes in her first game of the Challenge Cup. It was O'Hara's first action since last August as she was sidelined with an ankle injury.
All eight teams in the Challenge Cup will move on to the quarterfinals, which kick off Friday. Every game from the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup can be streamed on CBS All Access.
Red Stars 1, Royals 0 (Final)
⚽Red Stars: Casey Short - 85'
Chicago Red Stars: Chicago finally comes away with a win in group play. The game-winning goal scored by Short came to life thanks to a perfect set piece service from Savannah McCaskill. The team came into the match with enthusiasm off the pitch as they rallied around a fundraiser started by Sarah Gorden. The Red Stars had not been able to channel that energy into a cohesive performance early in the game, but Short provided a potentially tournament-changing score. Despite late-game heroics from a defender, the team's forwards still have some work to do in the elimination round.
Utah Royals FC: Coach Craig Harrington rolled out with lots of rotation in his starting XI, opting to utilize the final match to evaluate some individual performances ahead of the knockout round. Despite the loss, the team did a good job of keeping Chicago's midfield largely out of the match and causing additional problems for the opposition's top line.