Matildas battle in US NWSL semi-finals

Chicago Red Stars forward Sam Kerr scored the only goal in the first half against Portland Thorns.
Chicago Red Stars forward Sam Kerr scored the only goal in the first half against Portland Thorns.

Sam Kerr's Chicago Red Stars are playing Portland Thorns, home to Matildas trio Ellie Carpenter, Caitlin Foord and Hayley Raso, in the NWSL semi-finals in the US.

Kerr is the NWSL's top scorer with 77 regular season goals throughout her career - topping the scoring chart the past three seasons in America's top league - but she had never scored in a play-off game.

The Matildas captain ended that anomaly when she slotted home in the eighth minute as Chicago took a 1-0 lead into halftime.

In Sunday's earlier semi-final, Seattle Reign, featuring Australians Steph Catley and Lydia Williams, have fallen to North Carolina Courage.

The teams were locked 1-1 at the end of regulation in North Carolina on Sunday but the top-seeded Courage stormed home in extra time to win 4-1 and book a place in next weekend's championship game.

Australian Associated Press