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Charley nullifies Taylor’s early goal as the Thorns draw 1-1 with Orlando Pride

Simone Charley scored a headed equalizer in a 1-1 draw with the Pride.

SOCCER: AUG 14 NWSL - Portland Thorns FC at Orlando Pride Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Portland Thorns FC drew 1-1 with the Orlando Pride on Saturday. Jodie Taylor opened the scoring for the Pride in the 13th minute and Simone Charley equalized in the 78th minute.

The Pride started the match well. They pressed Portland all over the pitch and did a good job to disrupt the Thorns’ passing lanes. When Orlando recovered possession they looked to take advantage of transition opportunities.

In the 13th minute, Gunnhildur Jonsdottir played a perfectly weighted long ball down the flank to Courtney Petersen. Petersen measured her cross and picked out the head of Jodie Taylor in the box. Taylor flicked her header past Bella Bixby to score her second goal in as many games to give the Pride a 1-0 lead.

Portland responded with better spells of possession. They pinned the Pride in their own half and tried to unlock the defense. Simone Charley and Natalia Kuikka tried their luck from distance but couldn’t get it past Ashlyn Harris.

The Thorns had more success when they found Charley in the air. She headed a Meghan Klingenberg cross wide of the goal after a period of sustained possession. In the 36th minute, Kuikka and Charley combined for the Thorns’ best chance of the half.

Kuikka had time and space to pick out her target and curled the ball to the head of Charley. The forward put a forceful header on target, but Harris swatted it away and the Thorns went into halftime trailing.

The Pride started the second half with the same energy with which they started the first but the Thorns were better prepared and were better able to play through Orlando’s defensive pressure.

Smith was able to fire a shot on goal after a quick turn in the box, but she was surrounded by defenders and her shot went straight to Harris. She scooped a through ball to Marissa Everett but Harris was able to get to the ball first. In the 59th minute, Smith spun in the box again, but her shot was saved by Harris again.

Taylor almost doubled the Pride’s lead in the 70th minute. She got on the end of another cross in the box and forced Bixby to tip the header over the bar.

Portland found their equalizer in the 78th minute. Klingenberg curled a free kick into the box and Charley looped her header in at the far post. Charley made a great run one minute later. She played it to Smith, who finished well but the offside flag denied the Thorns their go-ahead goal.

Both teams pushed for a winner and found space in transition but neither were able to create a good look on goal at the end of the match.

The Thorns are back in action on Aug. 18 at Providence Park. They will take on the Houston Dash in the Women’s International Champions Cup.