The Chicago Red Stars were looking to cement their playoff seeding as they faced the Portland Thorns Sunday.
With her team down 1-0, Chicago defender Bianca St-Georges disagreed with an out-of-bounds call.
She gave the ref the finger and was immediately given a red card and ejected from the must-win game.
With their playoff position slowly slipping and just a week remaining in the National Women's Soccer League's regular season, the Chicago Red Stars desperately needed a favorable result against the Portland Thorns on Sunday.
Instead, they woke up Monday morning facing a much steeper road to the postseason.
The Red Stars lost a pivotal 3-0 decision on the road in their penultimate game of the season, falling out of the top six teams in the standings and potentially bungling their playoff chances as a result. And though Chicago went into halftime with a scoreless draw against the league's top team, an early second-half meltdown — including two quick goals and a heated moment ending in a red card — led to the Red Stars' downfall.
Portland striker Morgan Weaver put her Thorns ahead just two minutes into the half, taking on Chicago defender Arin Wright one-on-one in the box and slipping a hard shot past longtime US Women's National Team goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher.
Then, just a few minutes later, the Red Stars' frustration apparently boiled over. Defender Bianca St-Georges challenged Portland's Morgan Weaver close to the sideline, and when the ball sailed out of bounds, the fourth-year Chicago star threw her arm into the air to signal that the ball belonged to her side. Instead, the referee awarded the Thorns with a throw-in, leaving St-Georges perplexed and livid.
The 25-year-old Canadian was visibly irate and, though the audio did not carry over to the broadcast, was clearly arguing the call with the officials. Then, she lost her temper, lifting her hands in front of her and holding both middle fingers up to the referee.
The double birds elicited a whistle from the official, who walked up to St-Georges and whipped out a red card moments later.
—Douglas Reyes-Ceron (@dreyesceron) September 26, 2022
Portland capitalized on the momentum — and the man-advantage — with a quick tap-in from Weaver less than three minutes later. The Thorns added insult to injury with a third goal in stoppage time, but even more damaging for the Red Stars was the second red card — the result of two yellows on Zoe Morse — that came moments earlier.
Chicago will now head into a decisive final regular season game without two of their starting defenders available. The No. 7 Red Stars, who now sit a point behind North Carolina for the sixth and final playoff spot, will host No. 8 Angel City FC on October 2.
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