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The Portland Thorns Hang On to Beat the Western New York Flash

With a pair of goals and a little help from their goalkeeper, the Portland Thorns get their first regular-season win over the Western New York Flash.

Jessica McDonald pokes home a second goal for the Thorns.
Jessica McDonald pokes home a second goal for the Thorns.
Stacey Neve

In their first home match since a disappointing loss to Seattle, the Portland Thorns faced the Western New York in their second of three meetings this season.

The Thorns came out eager to take control of the game and most of the early chances went their way. The midfield managed to put Christine Sinclair in behind the defense a couple of times, but the Canadian striker's finishing woes continued and she just couldn't get a shot past goalkeeper Kelsey Wys.

The Thorns broke the deadlock in the 16th minute when Angie Kerr played a perfectly-weighted pass to the foot of Allie Long, who took one touch before firing a low shot past the keeper.

Portland had several more chances in the first half before the Flash seized some momentum of their own and began to push for an equalizer. In spite of the efforts of both teams, the score remained 1-0 for the Thorns as the players headed into the locker room at halftime.

As the second half began, the Thorns were right back at it, putting the pressure on the Flash. They got their reward in the 49th minute when Wys came out for a free kick only to have it slip through her hands. In the ensuing scramble, Jessica McDonald was able to stab the ball home.

After being out-played for most of an hour, Western New York woke up in the 59th when McCall Zerboni slipped past the Thorns defense and put her shot past Nadine Angerer into the side netting.

Although Portland had a few more chances to restore their two-goal lead, their finishing touch was lacking and the Flash were having more success pinning them back the more the game wore on. Only some positively heroic saves from Angerer kept the Flash from drawing level.

With the win, the Thorns jump back into 2nd place in the standings ahead of their weekend match-up with Sky Blue FC.