Portland Thorns FC drew 0-0 against NJ/NY Gotham FC in Providence Park on Sunday.
The Thorns pressure caused Gotham issues throughout the first half. Portland repeatedly won the ball back in dangerous positions and released Morgan Weaver and Simone Charley behind the back line.
Charley closed down Gotham goalkeeper DiDi Haracic and won the ball in the penalty area in the third minute. She was unable to get a shot off but the Thorns continued to pile on the pressure.
Meghan Klingenberg shot from distance and Haracic pushed it out for a corner. Klingenberg took the corner and the ball bounced around in the box before Kelli Hubly struck it toward the net, but it was saved again.
In the 18th minute, Weaver cut her pass back to Celeste Boureille, who was unmarked at the top of the 18-yard box. Her shot was blocked by a defender.
Marissa Everett received the ball in the middle of the pitch and played Weaver into space. Weaver drove toward goal and tried to slot her shot between the legs of the keeper, but Haracic made an important save.
Weaver was also involved in the Thorns’ best chance of the half. Boureille won the ball back in midfield and Portland took off in transition. Charley dribbled into the penalty area. Her pass deflected off a defender and into the path of the onrushing Weaver, who skied her shot.
Gotham was able to better deal with the Thorns’ press toward the end of the half and got a foothold in the match, but were unable to carve out any good looks on Bella Bixby’s goal.
Portland continued to press Gotham in the second half and immediately put the Gotham defense under pressure. Weaver drove through the center of the pitch in the 52nd minute. She got to the top of the box and unleashed a shot that pinged off of the upper 90.
Everett turned out of pressure and slotted Charley through on goal one minute later. Charley shot but Haracic continued her stellar performance, denying Charley one versus one.
Ifeoma Onumonu found Sodam Lee in the 18-yard box in the 60th minute. Lee curled a shot toward the top corner but it flew just over Bixby’s ball. Gotham put together another dangerous moment as Midge Purce dribbled into the box. Kelli Hubly made a perfectly timed sliding challenge to thwart Purce.
In the 70th minute, Natalia Kuikka swung in a cross that Weaver flicked toward goal but Haracic made a diving one-handed save to keep her out. Three minutes later, Bixby had to make a diving save of her own to keep it at 0-0.
The second half became more transitional as time passed. Both teams sent numbers forward in search of the match’s first goal, which allowed Portland and Gotham more space to run into.
Purce swung a perfect cross to the head of Onumonu in the 81st minute. Onumonu headed the ball off of the post.
Both Yazmeen Ryan and Olivia Moultrie came on as substitutes to make their Providence Park debuts in the 57th and 68th minute respectively. Bella Bixby also made her Providence Park debut and kept her second consecutive clean sheet.
The Thorns are back in action on Sunday, July 18 against the Orlando Pride. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. PST in Providence Park.