Categorized | Match Reports

Red Stars just can’t beat the Beat after a 1-1 draw

Posted on 09 July 2010 by mwkajdas

If a tie in sports is like kissing your sister, then the Chicago Red Stars seem to be having a makeout session with their sisters from Atlanta this season, registering their second draw against the Beat in three games. On the plus side, it wasn’t another scoreless game like the last time they played in Toyota Park as both teams managed to find the back of the net, albeit only one time each.

The play throughout the match was lively on both sides of the ball. For the first ten minutes of the game Megan Rapinoe led the attack for the Red Stars as she kept trying to slip balls to Ella Masar up the center of midfield while Johanna Rasmussen sent in numerous crossing passes from the left sideline for the Atlanta Beat. When those attempts repeatedly failed, both teams spent the next ten minutes looping long but overly ambitious passes downfield that remained well out of the reach of their intended targets.

The standoff was finally broken in the 30th minute when Karen Carney fouled Lori Chalupny just beyond the midfield line and Atlanta launched their free kick into the midst of Chicago’s penalty area. Red Stars goalkeeper, Jillian Loyden, charged out of her goal to punch the ball away but sent it bounding straight to Johanna Rasmussen, who lobbed a shot back into the abandoned net.

Chicago equalized twelve minutes later when Cristiane headed a corner kick from Formiga into the fray in front of Atlanta’s goal and Ella Masar used her own head to push the ball into the left corner of the net. “She (Cristiane) sent it across the goal where I was supposed to be and I was just lucky enough to turn it into the back of the goal,” Masar humbly described her third notch in three games. The Red Stars had a chance to take the lead just before halftime when Cristiane back-heeled another pass to Masar in front of Atlanta’s goal but Ella’s shot flew up over the crossbar.

The first real scoring opportunity of the second half did not come until the 60th minute when Rebecca Nalin was charged with handling the ball just outside Atlanta’s penalty area. Marian Dalmy took the free kick but sent the ball soaring over Atlanta’s goal. Five minutes later, the Red Stars defense gave the ball away to Eniola Aluko at the top of their box but Aluko shot the ball wide of the left goalpost.

For the rest of the match, the Red Stars dominated play. In the 71st minute Ella Masar directed a pass to Casey Nogueira, who had just come into the game replacing Cristiane. Noogie dribbled into the right side of Atlanta’s penalty area and unloaded a shot that was saved by Hope Solo. Six minutes later Katie Chapman fed Noogie the ball in the exact same spot but again her searing shot was stopped by Solo. “Casey Nogueira gets a shot, she finishes nine out of ten of those in practice. Unfortunately, tonight, she hits it right at the goalkeeper,” Red Stars coach Omid Namazi lamented afterward. “We just need more out of people. We need production from Casey Nogueira, from Koso, from Cristiane in particular. Those are the players we count on scoring game in and game out. Unfortunately we’re not getting that production from them right now. Hopefully, that will change.”

After that, the Red Stars seemed to lose some of their patience as Megan Rapinoe and Formiga took turns firing futile long-distance shots on Atlanta’s goal from well outside the penalty area. The hearts of the 3091 fans attending the game skipped a beat in the 84th minute when a shot from Casey Nogueira bounced out of Hope Solo’s hands but Karen Carney was whistled offside just as she swooped in for the rebound in front of the prone keeper. Three minutes later Rapinoe stripped the ball from Rasmussen and crossed it down the end line toward Atlanta’s goal but Kosovare Asllani deflected the ball short of the left goalpost.

Chicago had two more chances to win the game in extra time when Megan Rapinoe and Kosovare Asllani each took shots right in front of Atlanta’s net. But neither was able to put the ball on target and the game ended in another draw. “It’s frustrating, you know,” Namazi summed up after the game. “I think over the last, I want to say, four games we’ve been playing very well. We got the majority of the possession. We keep the ball. We get our chances. Unfortunately, we haven’t turned those chances into goals. And that’s been the story. It’s really frustrating as a coach because I can’t ask for a lot more as far as our play. I think we’re playing well. It’s just that we’ve got to be clinical in front of the goal. And the key thing is for our group not to get frustrated. I can get frustrated but the players need to keep driving on and making sure that we play the same way we have been in the last four games and, hopefully, at some point, we break that dam and we get some goals.

From the sound of those words, it almost seems like former coach Emma Hayes hasn’t left after all.

Match Summary

Chicago Red Stars vs Atlanta Beat
July 7, 2010 – Toyota Park – Bridgeview, IL
Attendance: 3091
Weather: Intermittent rain and 85 degrees

30’ Atlanta: Johanna Rasmussen
42’ Chicago: Ella Masar (Cristiane)

31’ Atlanta: Aya Miyama (yellow card)
61’ Chicago: Katie Chapman (yellow card)
90’ Atlanta: Amanda Cinalli (yellow card)

Chicago Red Stars:
Jillian Loyden
Elise Weber
Kate Markgraf
Whitney Engen
Marian Dalmy
Megan Rapinoe
Karen Carney (82: Kosovare Asllani)
Katie Chapman
Cristiane (69: Casey Nogueira)
Ella Masar

Atlanta Beat:
Hope Solo
Katie Larkin
Stacy Bishop
Rebecca Nalin
Leigh Ann Robinson
Johanna Rasmussen
Aya Miyama
Angie Kerr
Lori Chalupny (46:McCall Zerboni)
Mami Yamaguchi (72: Carolyn Blank)
Eniola Aluko (89: Amanda Cinalli)

Referee: Daniel Fitzgerald
Asst Referees: Vicente Cortes, Miguel Panduro
4th Official: Stephanie Toth

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