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Match Recap & Highlights: Portland Thorns 0-1 OL Reign

Portland Thorns got their first defeat of the year against rivals OL Reign.

via Thorns FC
Portland Thorns FC

It was the second contest the Thorns and the Reign had in less than two weeks in the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup. After the 1-1 draw they’ had in Lumen Field, the scenario changed to Providence Park where the Thorns were defeated 0-1.

Christine Sinclair was back in the starting XI, but the team had to play without Yazmeen Ryan (excused absence) so Madison Pogarch replaced her and got her first start of the year. Abby Smith started in goal for the second time in this year.

Despite the home team’s good performance (maybe the best this year so far), Jess Fishlock ended up being the game-changer with an assist to Rose Lavelle, who ended up scoring the only goal of the game.

OL Reign started dominating the game, with dangerous crosses from Sofia Huerta and winning balls in the midfield. Rose Lavelle distributed the ball for the visitors, but after ten minutes, Portland finally started to have more sustained possession. At the end of the first half, the game was pretty even with Portland having the better chances.

  • 4’ Huerta sent a dangerous cross that the Thorns couldn’t clear but ended up in the hands of A. Smith.
  • 11’ Sophia Smith’s goal (Kuikka assist) was ruled off for offside.
  • 13’ Madison Pogarch’s cross kissed the bar.
  • 16’ Sugita switched the point of attack from left to right to Kuikka, who shot a spinning ball but Tullis-Joyce made a good save.
  • 20’ Fishlock shot from distance. No problem for Abby Smith.
  • 28’ Sophia Smith went on a 1v2 on the right, outside of the box, but Cook defended well and dispossessed her while the crowd at Providence Park booed the referee, asking for a foul.
  • 30’ After a corner by the Reign, Pogarch cleared the ball with a long pass to Sophia Smith but before she could step on the box, Angelina dispossessed her.
  • 36’ Sugita had a shot blocked after a good run and pass by Kuikka.
  • 38’ Natalia Kuikka’s left footed shot from the right side of the box was close but missed to the right after getting rid of her defender with a little flick.

Similar to the first half, the Reign possessed the ball at the beginning of the second half, but Portland ended up taking control of the game and finding better chances. The visitors’ goal didn’t change Portland’s intentions and they tried to find the equalizer until the final whistle.

  • 46’ Natalie Beckman came on for Pogarch at the beginning of the second half.
  • 54’ Sophia Smith shot a low ball but it went wide.
  • 56’ Kuikka fired toward goal but Tullis-Joyce made a spectacular save and sent the ball to the corner.
  • 58’ Moultrie came on for Rocky Rodriguez and Morgan Weaver came on for Sinclair.
  • 66’ Morgan Weaver’s header from the center of the box missed to the left.
  • 70’ Latsko sent a low ball to Balcer who did a one-touch shot but Abby Smith was in the right place to stop it.
  • 74’ Rose Lavelle scored the only goal of the match assisted by Jess Fishlock.
  • 80’ Meghan Klingenberg came on for Kuikka and Marissa Everett for Hina Sugita.
  • 89’ Sam Coffey’s volley from outside the box went a little wide and high and it was the last opportunity the Thorns had in the match.

Portland will play in Providence Park again after the international FIFA break. The match is scheduled for Sunday, April 17th, and will kick off at 4 p.m. PST.