The Chicago Red Stars clinched their first-ever NWSL playoff berth on Saturday with a 0-0 draw at home against the Western New York Flash. The result officially qualified defending champions FC Kansas City for the playoffs and eliminated the Flash.
Chicago needed only a point coming into the match to secure the playoff berth. The Red Stars dictated play through large stretches but couldn’t beat Flash goalkeeper Chantel Jones.
The Red Stars are now in second place with 29 pts., one point ahead of Washington and Kansas City.
Portland remains the only team outside of the top four with a shot at the playoffs, but the Thorns look likely to miss the playoffs for the first time in the league’s three-year history. FC Kansas City owns the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Thorns, who are 6 points behind with two matches to play. Portland can take the season series against the Washington Spirit by beating the Spirit next Sunday, but the Thorns must win both remaining matches and see the Spirit drop all three of their remaining games in order to make the playoffs.
The Thorns failed to keep pace by losing to Sky Blue FC, 1-0 on Saturday in New Jersey.
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