Another game, another win for the North Carolina Courage at the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup. The Courage won their third game in three tries on Sunday, beating the Chicago Red Stars 1-0. Abby Erceg scored the game's lone goal in the 81st minute as the reigning NWSL champs won a rematch of the 2019 title game.
The Courage were the only team to win their first two games at the Challenge Cup, and they put more distance between themselves and the pack in the standings on Sunday. The Courage had 15 shots to the Red Stars' five and also won the possession battle (52.9 to 47.1). It was the second loss in three games for the Red Stars, who have scored just one goal in three games so far in Utah.
The NWSL Challenge Cup continues on Sunday night as the Washington Spirit face the Portland Thorns. All games of the Challenge Cup can be streamed with CBS All Access.
Courage 1, Red Stars 0 (Final)
⚽Abby Erceg - 81'
North Carolina Courage: The reigning NWSL champs have typically matched up well during regular season matches against the Red Stars. North Carolina seemed frustrated in the first half by Chicago's midfielders and their ability to disrupt their high press. All five of North Carolina's goals this tournament have come in the second half, and today was no different as Erceg, a defender, was able to connect on a header in the winding minutes of the match off a short free kick.
Chicago Red Stars: The team did a good job of disrupting North Carolina's high press on Sunday despite not getting a desired result. The midfield was able to distribute despite things still not coming together in the final third. The Red Stars have one goal over their three games. While head coach Rory Dames has said group play would be utilized for working personnel up, the knockout round is approaching quickly.