Pugh’s goal gives Red Stars 1-0 playoff win over Gotham

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (AP) — Mallory Pugh scored the lone goal and the Chicago Red Stars knocked Gotham FC out of the playoffs with a 1-0 quarterfinal victory Sunday.

It was Carli Lloyd’s final match with Gotham. The 39-year-old forward announced her retirement from soccer shortly after she won the bronze medal with the U.S. national team at the Tokyo Olympics.

“For me, (it’s) bittersweet obviously, I would have liked to have kept going,” Lloyd said afterward. “But overall just really proud of the group and the future is really, really bright for Gotham FC.”

Lloyd choked back tears in the postgame, saying that it’s finally hitting her that her career is over.

The Red Stars move on to face the top-seeded Portland Thorns in the semifinals next Sunday. Chicago (11-8-5) finished fourth in the league standings, riding a three-game winning streak into the playoffs.

Gotham (8-5-11), which finished fifth in the standings, hadn’t been to the playoffs since 2013.

Pugh’s goal in the 61st minute went into upper right corner, out of the reach of Gotham goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan

The teams met three times this season, with Gotham winning once and two scoreless draws.

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