The first Decision Day in National Women’s Soccer League history is in the books and the San Diego Wave claimed its first trophy in the franchise’s second season of existence after another Portland Thorns collapse on the final day of the regular season.
All 12 teams were in action at the exact same time on Sunday for the league’s most dramatic regular-season finale since its inaugural season a decade ago. Eight teams remained in contention for the final four playoff spots, which were ultimately claimed by the North Carolina Courage, OL Reign, Angel City FC, and NJ/NY Gotham FC.
The Reign defeated the Chicago Red Stars 3-0 to secure their place, while the Courage defeated the Washington Spirit 1-0 — after Spirit forward Trinity Rodman was sent off early in the first half — causing the 2021 NWSL Champions to miss the playoffs for the second straight year.
Angel City thumped the Thorns, 5-1 in Los Angeles to qualify for the playoffs for the first time. Gotham held on for a 2-2 draw against the Kansas City Current to claim the sixth and final playoff spot.
Sunday’s games brought 17 goals across the two hours and multiple changes to the standings. There were bicycle kicks, VAR checks, and wild saves. How did it all happen? Below is a real-time recap of how things played out live, minute by minute. (Tips: Scroll all the way down for the blog to load initially. Hit “LOAD MORE” to keep going back to the beginning.)
Read more stories from NWSL Decision Day.
To help you identify the game we’re talking about, we’ll reference them like this:
ORLvHOU — Orlando Pride vs. Houston Dash
NJNYvKC — NJ/NY Gotham FC vs. Kansas City Current
LAvPOR — Angel City FC vs. Portland Thorns FC
SDvLOU — San Diego Wave FC vs. Racing Louisville FC
WASvNC — Washington Spirit vs. North Carolina Courage
CHIvRGN — Chicago Red Stars vs. OL Reign
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