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Match Recap & Highlights: Portland Thorns 0-1 Angel City FC

The Thorns were unable to secure a result and were thus eliminated from the Challenge Cup.

Portland Thorns FC v Angel City FC - 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup
Rocky Rodriguez and Simone Charley
Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images

The Portland Thorns today lost 1-0 to Angel City FC in Fullerton. The LA side won their first-ever match which meant Portland would not advance to the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup semifinals.

With Sophia Smith, Hina Sugita, Sam Coffey, Meaghan Nally, Taylor Porter, and head coach Rhian Wilkinson out due to COVID-19 protocol the starting line-up looked a little bit different for the Thorns. Janine Beckie made her Thorns debut and Madison Pogarch, Olivia Moultrie, and Yazmeen Ryan were handed starts.

The first half started off relatively slowly, both teams had shots on goal but none were too challenging for the goalkeepers. Sinclair may have had the best look with a heel-flick that was saved by Haračić. Simone Charley did her best in an attempt to score against her former team but was unsuccessful. However, a penalty kick in the 36th minute gave Angel City a great chance. Christen Press stepped up and converted. Another goal for LA was called back after an offside call. The Thorns finally start to possess at the end of the half but it’s not enough to pull a point back.

The second half started with LA in Portland’s defensive third for a good while. Both teams struggled to find opportunities on goal. Portland started to click in the 60th minute finding a few chances, none of them found the back of the net, however. The rest of the half remained rather stagnant as neither team found too many opportunities. As the final whistle blew LA found their way to their first-ever win and Portland found themselves eliminated from the Challenge Cup semi-finals.

  • 1’ Angel City almost had a chance but Savannah McCaskill’s cross went straight to Bella Bixby’s hands
  • 3’ Christine Sinclair and Janine Beckie linked up and Olivia Moultrie struck from distance but the shot went to DiDi Haračić
  • 3’ Weaver attempted a shot from distance but it again went straight to Haračić
  • 6’ The Thorns nearly took the lead from a corner kick. Sinclair got to the ball first and almost scored a nice backheel goal but Haračić came up with a great save.
  • 10’ Simone Charley hit a tame effort at goal and Bixby saved it easily.
  • 14’ McCaskill tried to get on the end of a cross and Bixby came out to claim it.
  • 16’ Press tested Bixby and the keeper calmly collected it.
  • 24’ Portland put together a good spell of possession but in the end, Haračić grabbed it and ended the attack.
  • 27’ Press fired another shot from distance which was easily smothered by Bixby.
  • 28’ Rodriguez committed a clear foul in the area and Angel City was awarded a penalty.
  • 29’ Angel City opened the scoring from the spot. Press buried the PK opportunity, sending Bixby in the opposite direction.
  • 33’ Bixby came up with a huge 1v1 save against McCaskill.
  • 36’ Angel City nearly made it 2-0. Vanessa Gilles headed the ball under the outstretched arms of Bixby but it was called back due to offside.
  • 37’ The Thorns has a free kick in a dangerous spot. The cross was served to Beckie, who took a shot but it went over the bar.
  • 40’ Moultrie found Beckie with a good pass. The Canadian had an opportunity in front of the goal, but she lifted it over.
  • 41’ Charley continued to cause her former team issues. She found Endo in the box but Bixby smothered it.
  • After two minutes of stoppage time, the half came to an end with Angel City leading the Thorns by one goal.
  • 47’ Rodriguez committed a foul right outside the box, McCaskill played it wide and the cross went to Megan Reid, who skied the ball over the box.
  • 52’ Press played the ball through but Bixby beat McCaskill to it and prevented a chance.
  • 56’ Spencer shot but it was blocked by Pogarch, giving LA a corner. Bixby collected the cross.
  • 58’ McCaskill shot from distance and it flew over the crossbar.
  • 59’ Endo’s cross found Press but in the end, went out of bounds for a goal kick.
  • 64’ Weaver’s cross found Beckie, who in turn found Sinclair, earning a corner kick for Portland. Meghan Klingenberg sent it in but it ultimately went out for a goal-kick.
  • 65’ Marissa Everett came on for Olivia Moultrie, who started her first start of the year.
  • 66’ Rodriguez’s through ball was intended for Beckie but Haračić was first to it and collected it.
  • 67’ Klingenberg crossed to Rodriguez whose shot went over the bar.
  • 68’ Portland on the attack again but collected by Haračić.
  • 69’ Endo’s shot was blocked by Pogarch.
  • 70’ Natalia Kuikka came on for Pogarch. Former Thorn Tyler Lussi came on for Press, the goal scorer.
  • 73’ Rodriguez fouled McCaskill, who was slow to get up. The Thorns contested the foul as Rodriguez was already on a yellow card. There didn’t appear to be too much contact.
  • 75’ McCaskill swung in a corner kick to substitute Tyler Lussi. Her header was cleared off the goal line by Klingenberg.
  • 80’ Lussi crossed the ball looking for either Charley or McCaskill but it went out of bounds.
  • 80’ Portland subbed off Rocky Rodriguez, who was replaced by Natalie Beckman
  • 81’ Charley was given a yellow for delaying play after an offside call.
  • 82’ Menges bodied Charley off the ball to recover possession for Portland.
  • 84’ Charley went down after a collision and stayed down for a while. She was replaced by Hope Breslin.
  • 89’ Bixby came up for the corner kick and was marking Haračić, but nothing came from it.
  • 90+7’ Kuikka earned a yellow for a foul against Endo.
  • The final whistle signaled LA’s first-ever win and knocked Portland out of the Challenge Cup.

The Thorns will start their regular season campaign on Saturday, April 30. They will host the Kansas City Current at Providence Park. Kick off is slated for 3 p.m. (Pacific).