The Chicago Red Stars came back to tie Portland Thorns FC for the third time this month on Thursday, when the two teams ended 1-1 at Benedictine University in Lilse, Ill.
Chicago captain Lori Chalupny scored the equalizer in the 77th minute, tapping in a loose ball near the goal line. Second-half substitute Adriana Leon sent a low cross in from the right side and Jen Hoy scuffed her shot inside the 6-yard box, but Chalupny charged in from behind for her fourth goal of the season.
Jessica McDonald opened the scoring 32 seconds into the match — an NWSL record — roofing a low cross from Stephanie Catley, who whipped in a left-footed ball from the left flank. The goal was McDonald’s team-high 10th of the season, one less than league-leader Kim Little of Seattle Reign FC.
Chicago had the better of the chances in the first half, and most came on counter attacks. Rookie defender Julie Johnston started a counter in the 9th minute, finding Christen Press down the right side. Press hit a shot toward the upper corner, forcing a big save out of Thorns goalkeeper Nadine Angerer.
Angerer came up big again in the 33rd minute, getting low to stop midfielder Shannon Boxx’s low shot after a smooth buildup from Chicago. Press sent a ball over the top to Hoy — whose speed gave Portland’s back line trouble all night — and Hoy sent a low cross to Alyssa Mautz, who dropped the ball back to Boxx on the 18-yard box for the shot.
Mautz also nearly created an equalizer in first-half stoppage time, finding Press at the back post with a low cross, but Press was off-balance and put the ball over the crossbar.
The Red Stars’ equalizer came after a flurry of chances for each team. Thorns striker Christine Sinclair ripped a shot in the 61st minute after a sequence that looked nearly identical to the one that led to Boxx’s shot in the first half. Catley was involved again, starting the play on the left side, and McDonald provided the back-pass to Sinclair for the shot. Two minutes later, Portland’s captain threaded a through ball in to McDonald, but Chicago goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc made a kick-save 1-v-1.
Just a minute later — in the 64th minute — Angerer came up big in a 1-v-1 on the other end. After Angerer came off her line to clear a through ball, Mautz settled the ball and went for the chip from 35 yards out, forcing Angerer to retreat and make a diving save.
Press nearly won the match for Chicago in second-half stoppage time, pushing a close-range shot just wide. Press scored two late goals on July 4 in Portland to erase a two-goal deficit for a 2-2 draw, then Emily Van Egmond scored late in a July 9 match that for a 1-1 draw in Illinois.
On Thursday, Alex Morgan and Allie Long came off the bench in the second half for Portland, who plays at home on Sunday against the Boston Breakers in the first ESPN2 nationally televised NWSL game.
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