Portland Thorns Lead, then Settle for Draw Against Chicago Red Stars, Again

Stacey Neve

The scoreline and the stadium were a little different, but the story was déjà vu for the Thorns.

Undoubtedly frustrated after letting a two-goal lead slip away from them less than a week ago, the Portland Thorns came out to face the very same team, the Chicago Red Stars, looking for a quick goal.

In spite of some decent early looks for both teams, nobody broke through until after the mid-way point in the first half. In the 26th minute, a Chicago defender knocked Vero Boquete's feet out from under her in the box and the referee pointed to the spot. Allie Long stepped up to take the penalty and confidently put it in the back of the net. The Thorns saw out the rest of the half and took a 1-0 lead into halftime.

The beginning of the second half saw much of the play happening in the middle of the pitch with few really good chances for either team, but in the 76th minute, Christen Press got on the end of a through-ball and slipped it past Nadine Angerer. To Portland's relief, the assistant referee's flag was up for offside.

Their relief was short-lived. In the 85th minute, a ball into the box hit the arm of Nikki Marshall (maybe--the stream made it hard to identify the player) and this time it was Emily Van Egmond's turn to calmly finish the penalty kick.

The Thorns got a final chance in the form of a free kick in a good position, but Tobin Heath's shot hit the wall and the second attempt was a pass to a very offside Jessica McDonald.

The game, which started well enough for the Thorns, ended in a 1-1 draw. With this result, the Thorns remain outside the playoff picture.

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