Two goals in three minutes left things equal between Portland Thorns FC and Seattle Reign FC Saturday night as the Cascadia rivals played out a physical 1-1 draw. Nadia Nadim opened the scoring in the 47th minute and Beverly Yanez leveled the score minutes later. The result gives Portland it’s first point at Memorial Stadium against the Reign, since the Seattle club started playing there in 2014.
An uneventful first half was quickly forgotten as Portland took the lead thanks in part to some defensive confusion between Seattle defender Lauren Barnes and goalkeeper Hope Solo. Thorns midfielder Meg Morris lofted a bouncing cross into the box and with Barnes and Solo hesitating, Nadim snuck in to head the ball over Solo and into the net for her first goal as a Thorns player. Morris tallied her first Thorns assist on the play.
The lead was short lived however, as a string of Seattle corners lead to the equalizer in the 50th minute. A deep cross was played into the far post and Yanez out jumped midfielder Allie Long to power a header in off the arm of goalkeeper Adrianna Franch.
Forward Nadia Nadim had a golden chance to give Portland a first half lead when she broke behind the Seattle defense in the 41st minute. Under a bit of pressure, but with just goalkeeper Hope Solo to beat, Nadim skewed her shot just wide of the left post.
Long nearly restored the lead for Portland twice in the second half. She crashed a shot from distance off the crossbar in the 57th minute and in the 69th, headed just over the bar from a Nadim cross.
In two previous visits to Memorial Stadium, the Thorns were 0-2-0 and were outscored 8-0.
Portland remains unbeaten in five, which includes a streak of four-straight away matches. The Thorns will return home to Providence Park next Saturday to face the Washington Spirt for the second time in three weeks. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. (Pacific).
Updates to follow...