Aussies Abroad: Logarzo inspires Washington to keep NWSL Playoffs hopes alive

Chloe Logarzo helped spark a dramatic comeback to keep Washington Spirit’s National Women’s Soccer League Playoff dreams alive.

The sixth-placed side trailed the recently crowned three-time NWSL Shield winners, North Carolina Courage, but turned the game around for a season-saving 2-1 victory.

Logarzo was introduced at the interval for Meggie Dougherty Howard after Lynn Williams had put North Carolina ahead in first-half stoppage time. 

The Westfield Matilda was part of a sensational late rally which flipped the game on its head.

Mallory Pugh hauled Washington back into the game on 75 minutes with a composed striker after smart work from Logarzo and Bailey Feist.

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And, Pugh’s fellow United States international teammate, Rose Lavelle notched an 84th-minute winner to down the two-time defending NWSL Champions.

Spirit remain locked in sixth place, four points behind the top four teams that advance to the Playoffs, with two games to play.

Fourth-placed Reign FC also have two to play, meaning one more win for the Seattle-based team will lock down the final Playoff place.

Amy Harrison was an unused substitute for Washington, who will need Reign to drop points against Portland on Monday to keep themselves in the hunt. 

Red Stars finish in style

Sam Kerr set up a late winner to seal a 2-1 win against Utah Royals and send Chicago Red Stars into the National Women’s Soccer League Playoffs on a high. 

Japan international Yuki Nagasato, who starred for Brisbane Roar in the Westfield W-League 2018/19, struck in the 85th minute to make it five straight wins for Chicago.

The Red Stars have finished their schedule and will finish second or third once all games are played, putting them on a likely collision course with Portland Thorns in the Semi-Finals. 

Ellie Carpenter, Hayley Raso and Caitlin Foord’s team sit five point back with two games in hand.

Vanessa DiBernardo had edged Chicago ahead on 40 minutes at Toyota Park but the lead was quickly stamped out when United States FIFA Women’s World Cup hero Christen Press levelled two minutes later.

That set up a grandstand finish with Kerr breaking away and seeing her shot saved by Royals net minder Nicole Barnhart and Nagasato followed up to score on the rebound. Mackenzie Arnold was the back-up goalkeeper for Chicago.

Luik on a roll in Norway

Westfield Matildas Aivi Luik featured as Avaldsnes racked up their sixth straight Norwegian Women’s Toppserien win.

The North-Eastern outfit have hit top form with four games remaining in the season and closed the gap on third-placed Klepp to two points with a 3-1 victory against Lyn.

Luik started alongside Melbourne City defender Rebekah Stott at their Avaldsnes Idrettssenter ground but the home side fell behind when Una Johanne Roaldseth Søyland netted for the Lightning.

Avaldsnes were not down for long as Brazilian Giovanna levelled the scores only two minutes later and her compatriot, Duda, scored from the penalty spot on 55 minutes.

Giovanna grabbed her second goal in stoppage time to wrap up a sixth win in a row ahead of next week’s clash on the road against league-leaders Lillestrøm.

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