The Portland Thorns defeated the Kansas City Current on Saturday night by a margin of 2-0, winning the 2022 NWSL Championship.
The Thorns started off quickly with a goal in the first minute, as Sophia Smith found her way around A.D. Franch to net the go-ahead goal. The rest of the half was largely back and forth with chances coming from both sides. The second half started with similar energy to the first, and Portland netted their second goal was via an own goal, with a ball from Yazmeen Ryan going off of a KC defender and into the net. The rest of the half was dominated by the thorns and they clinched their third NWSL title.
The Thorns' lineup reflected their usual regular-season starters, the only difference from the last match was Sinclair replacing Hina Sugita in the starting eleven.
You know what time it is…— Portland Thorns FC (@ThornsFC) October 29, 2022
YOUR CHAMPIONSHIP STARTING XI ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/kjI5vNE3vz
1’ Kick off in Washington D.C.
1’ A foul from behind took Ryan earning the Thorns a freekick outside the eighteen. Ryan’s service is cleared off the KC wall.
5’ PORTLAND GOAL- SOPHIA SMITH NETTED AN ERRANT PLAY FROM KC. Portland 1-0 KC. She picked the pocket of the KC backline after a great ball from Yazemeen Ryan and easily beat A.D. Franch before putting it away.
7’ Cece Kizer was brought down by Rodriguez, KC earned the freekick outside of the Thorns goal. It’s served in but headed away.
8’ Kuikka’s heel clipped and she was brought down, Bella sent the freekick up the field.
13’ Weaver fired a cross toward the KC goal but Franch collected it easily.
14’ Smith found space to shoot but it soared wide.
16’ KC’s Hamilton was trying to find a space to shoot but Kelli Hubly cleared it away.
19’ Ryan looked to capitalize on an opportunity but she skied her shot.
24’ Weaver shot but it was blocked by a KC defender.
25’ Coffey cleared the ball out of the eighteen stopping KC’s attack on goal.
26’ Bixby came out to collect a Current cross.
27’ Bixby received a ball lofted from about half
28’ Sophia Smith almost did it again — but her shot went just wide.
29’ Weaver was looking to break away but her run was called offside.
32’ Sam Coffey made a run toward the goal but the pass was just behind her. Her effort earned the Thorns their first corner of the match. Kling’s corner didn’t amount to anything, though.
34’ Kate Del Fava almost scored the equalizer but her header goes over the post.
38’ Ryan was looking to create an opportunity for the Thorns but it was cleared away.
38’ Weaver found a one-touch shot but it deflected off of the KC backline and Franch collected the ball.
39’ Weaver was trying to rectify her last shot but it was saved by Franch.
40’ Mace for KC almost broke through the Thorns' back line but Kling did well to stop her attempt and Bixby regained possession.
42’ Weaver wasn’t stopping, this time though she was called offside.
One minute of stoppage time was added, but nothing came of it.
45’ The second half kicked off with KC.
46’ Sinc sent a beautiful ball into Smith but she had three KC players on her and her shot went to Franch.
47’ Rocky went down on the KC goal-line but nothing was called.
53’ Kuikka did well to dispossess KC and stop their run of attack.
55’ Mace went down after pushing Ryan off the ball. KC’s free kick didn’t amount to anything.
56’ PORTLAND GOAL NUMBER 2! Ryan’s cross was meant for Smith but in the end, it ricochetted off of a KC defender and went into the net.
Everything is coming up roses pic.twitter.com/bM1B6dBLxj— Portland Thorns FC (@ThornsFC) October 30, 2022
58’ Franch saved Weaver’s shot but it trickled out for a corner.
59’ WEAVER has a shot that is rocketed off the crossbar and out. Franch got a hand on it and it resulted in a Portland corner, but nothing came of it though.
63’ Weaver came off and was replaced by Janine Beckie. Hina Sugita also came on for Rodriguez.
64’ Coffey sent in a corner that’s played short to Ryan who almost found Hubly in the box.
68’ Hubly sent the ball long after stopping KC’s effort in the Thorns box.
69’ The run of play was stopped as Smith had to receive medical attention, but she returned to play shortly after.
71’ Sugita with a beautiful shot but Franch pulled off an impressive diving save to stop Portland from getting a third.
73’ Sinclair left the pitch and was replaced by Crystal Dunn. Sinclair became the NWSL all-time leader of playoff minutes tonight with 975.
80’ Bixby deftly handled a KC cross as she came out to collect the ball in the air.
82’ Dunn fired off a shot but it sailed over the top of the net.
83’ Dunn had another chance but her shot again didn’t find the target.
88’ Beckie had an opportunity to make it three but her shot went wide.
Four minutes of stoppage time was added
90+1’ Beckie was dragged down earning the Thorns a freekick.
90+2’ Ryan made her way off the pitch and was replaced by Moultrie.
And the final whistle is blown, the Thorns earned their third NWSL championship!