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 Racing Louisville FC

Chicago Edges Racing, 1-0, in Physical Match

September 30, 2023 - National Women's Soccer League (NWSL)
Racing Louisville FC News Release

Chicago Red Stars battle Racing Louisville FC
Chicago Red Stars battle Racing Louisville FC
(Racing Louisville FC)

The hosting Chicago Red Stars edged Racing Louisville, 1-0, on Saturday night at SeatGeek Stadium in a match marked by physical play and a pair of controversial officiating decisions rendered after video review.

Both Chicago's first-half goal and a second-half penalty call in favor of Racing went to video review by officials. The Chicago goal held up after the referee reviewed the play for offside, deeming goal scorer Bianca St. Georges onside at the start her run toward the goal. Racing's penalty, initially given to Savannah DeMelo after she appeared to be brought down by a Chicago defender while pursuing a loose ball, was waved off after review.

The loss in the Chicago suburbs hampered Racing Louisville's pursuit of its first playoff appearance in club history, keeping the Louisvillians on 24 points with two matches left, three behind sixth-place OL Reign before Reign plays Sunday.

"I'm proud of our team in the second half," Racing coach Kim Björkegren said. "We really kept fighting. Also, I think we were a little unlucky. We deserved more today. We had chances enough and situations enough to score one, two or three goals."

Racing (5-6-9, 24 points) had the lion's share of chances in the first half-hour, with both Kayla Fischer and Elli Pikkujämsä smacking the crossbar with long-range efforts.

St. Georges broke loose in transition in the 33rd minute, collecting a pass 30 yards from goal and scoring from eight yards out. The assistant referee's flag stayed down, indicating no offside when St. Georges began her run. After a video review, the referee and video assistant referee deemed St. Georges to be onside despite repeated protests from Racing.

Louisville pushed for the equalizer early in the second half, with shots from Fischer, Nadia Nadim and Thembi Kgatlana. But it was in the 59th minute when Racing appeared to get its best chance at tying the game up when DeMelo was brought down in the penalty area by a physical, high challenge from Chicago defender Julia Bianchi.

The referee gave the penalty at first but overturned the call after video review.

"It was tough for us for two reasons," Björkegren said. "We missed a potential penalty and we were playing so well at that moment, and it took over four minutes (to review). We lost a bit of the momentum there. Those were two things we were disappointed over. If it was the right decision, I don't know."

The loss snapped Racing's three-game winning streak against Chicago this year, a stretch that includes two NWSL Challenge Cup wins and a league win on May 12 in Louisville.

Louisville is trying to find its goal-scoring form with two games left to play. Racing hasn't scored in three matches and was left wanting more Saturday in Chicago, where the Louisvillians took 22 shots.

"In the second half, we played like ourselves, putting on a lot of pressure," DeMelo said. "We have to play like that for 90 minutes. It can't just be a half. I'm very disappointed with the loss."

Game Summary: Racing Louisville FC at Chicago Red Stars

Date: September 30, 2023

Venue: SeatGeek Stadium

Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET

Weather: 74 degrees, sunny


Racing Louisville (0, 0, 0)

Chicago Red Stars (1, 0, 1)


Chicago Red Stars

33' Bianca St. Georges (Julia Bianchi)


Racing Louisville FC (4-3-3): 1 - Katie Lund; 16 - Carson Pickett, 20 - Abby Erceg (c), 15 - Julia Lester, 2 - Lauren Milliet; 4 - Elli Pikkujämsä, 7 - Savannah DeMelo, 9 - Kayla Fischer (74' 29 - Uchenna Kanu); 22 - Kirsten Davis (53' 17 - Maddie Pokorny), 10 - Nadia Nadim (84' 21 - Parker Goins), 5 - Paige Monaghan (53' 11 - Thembi Kgatlana)

Subs not used: 18 - Hillary Beall, 99 - Olivia Sekany; 13 - Emina Ekic, 26 - Taylor Aylmer

Head Coach: Kim Björkegren

Chicago Red Stars (3-4-3): 1 - Alyssa Naeher (c); 12 - Tierna Davidson (90'+14 28 - Kayla Sharples), 23 - Tatumn Milazzo, 3 - Arin Wright; 6 - Casey Krueger, 4 - Cari Roccaro, 5 - Julia Bianchi, 7 - Yuki Nagasato; 8 - Ella Stevens (75' 34 - Ally Schlegel), 22 - Bianca St. Georges (76' 20 - Cheyna Matthews), 55 - Penelope Hocking

Subs not used: 21 - Emily Boyd; 2 - Sam Fisher, 14 - Jill Aguilera, , 24 - Jenna Bike, 25 - Ava Cook, 32 - Taylor Malham

Head coach: Chris Petrucelli

Stats Summary: Racing Louisville / Chicago Red Stars

Shots: 22 / 14

Shots on Goal: 5 / 3

Expected goals: 1.28 / 0.89

Possession: 43.3% / 56.7%

Fouls: 13 / 13

Offside: 2 / 4

Corners: 7 / 5

Discipline Summary

Racing Louisville

90'+10 Uchenna Kanu (yellow)

Chicago Red Stars

80' Cheyna Matthews (yellow)

Referee: Sergii Demianchuk

VAR: Luis Guardia

Images from this story

Chicago Red Stars battle Racing Louisville FC
Chicago Red Stars battle Racing Louisville FC


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