Crystal Dunn came off the bench and scored in second-half stoppage time to give the Portland Thorns a 2-1 victory over the San Diego Wave in their NWSL playoff semifinal to book a spot in the championship game.
The Thorns will face the Kansas City Current, who beat OL Reign in Sunday's late semifinal, next weekend in Washington for the NWSL trophy.
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Dunn, a veteran for the U.S. national team, has been easing her way back after giving birth to a son five months ago. Her goal from the top of the penalty area came off a corner about three minutes into stoppage time.
"It was a good ball in," Dunn told CBS Sports Network after the game. "I thought, 'strike this as hard as you can,' and just hoped nobody blocks it."
The semifinals come amid continuing fallout over an investigation that found systemic misconduct and abuse across the league.
U.S. Soccer commissioned former acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Q. Yates to investigate following a series of scandals that rocked the NWSL last season.
Yates' report came out earlier this month. In it, she detailed the Thorns' handling of harassment and sexual coercion allegations leveled at former coach Paul Riley.
Riley coached Portland in 2014-15. Two former players, Mana Shim and Sinead Farrelly, accused Riley of misconduct last year in a report in The Athletic. After the release of the Yates investigation, two Thorns executives were fired.
The announced crowd was 22,030 at Providence Park as fans came out in support of the players, but there have been calls for Thorns owner Merritt Paulson, who stepped down as CEO, to sell the team.
"I think when we heard that there were many, many people showing up today. It really allowed us to get hyped for this game. Our fans have been through a lot as well this year, along with players. I think them showing up is exactly what we want for this community," Dunn said.
Taylor Kornieck put the Wave up early with a header off a cross from Alex Morgan in the eighth minute. The Thorns equalized with Rocky Rodriguez's volley off a bounce in the 20th.
The Thorns have won two NWSL championships, in 2013 and 2017. The Wave are new to the 12-team league this season.
In the other semifinal, Alexis Loera and Kristen Hamilton scored in the Current's 2-0 victory over top-seeded OL Reign, winners of this season's Supporters' Shield.
Loera scored for the Current three minutes into the match, where the announced attendance at Seattle's Lumen Field was 21,491.
Hamilton added a goal in the 63rd to stun the Reign. It was Current goalkeeper Adrianna Franch's third career playoff shutout.
It's been quite the journey for Kansas City, which finished at the bottom of the league last season.
"You can just tell from our development over the course of the season that we're in a really good spot where we're not quite at the top, but we're peaking at the times we need to be peaking," Franch said. "Our team is just freaking phenomenal."