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Match recap and highlights: Portland Thorns 1-1 Washington Spirit

It was a hard fight in Providence Park on Wednesday night.

Welcome back, Becky
Portland Thorns FC

Portland Thorns finish Hump Day with a 1-1 draw in Providence Park. Sophia Smith opened the scoring in the 57th minute, and Ashley Hatch headed home the equalizer in the 63rd. minute.

This game marked the comeback of Angela Salem to Portland — not as a player for either of these teams, but as an assistant coach for Washington.

Warning: The following video can contain images that will make you very emotional.

Becky Sauerbrunn was also back, appearing in the starting XI after the knee surgery that made her miss the Challenge Cup and the start of the season. Weaver also started on the bench.

Portland started pressing Washington early, putting them against their own half of the field. After 15 minutes, the visitors started to break free. Their intentions of building their attack on their right side were clear, always searching for Trinity Rodman to make the difference. Because of this, Hina Sugita and Rocky Rodríguez were fundamental to stopping Heilferthy, who had the job to deliver the ball to the winger. If that failed, Meghan Klingenberg would step up.

By the end of the first thirty minutes, the roles were inverted: The Spirit took the driver’s seat, while the home team tried to find spaces to pass the ball.

7’ The Spirit broke the pressure they were under, but a precise tackle by Emily Menges in the middle of the field cut their intention of attack.

12’ Christine Sinclair set up Sophia Smith to go on a 1v1 against Sonnett, but the former Thorns player prevailed.

14’ Heilferthy tested Bella Bixby, but the shot was too weak, giving Bella the ball.

26’ Rodman changed sides and sent a cross from the left to the far post. Hatch was going to get to the end of it, but Becky Sauerbrunn got there first and cleared it.

31’ After a giveaway in the midfield, the Spirit attacked the Thorns’ box. Hatch’s shot went high.

37’ Kingsbury gave the ball away and Sinclair chipped it over the goalkeeper, but it hit the crossbar.

44’ CHAOS ON PORTLAND’S SIDE! Sanchez sent a dangerous ball to the six-yard box. Sauerbrunn tried to clear it before Hatch got to it, but almost scores an own goal. Menges saved it on the line.

46’ Morgan Weaver and Meaghan Nally were subbed in, and Rocky and Becky subbed out.

49’ Smith passed by Sonnet. Weaver got to the far post, but Smith couldn’t deliver the ball to her and it was intercepted by Kingsbury.

52’ Smith’s shot went wide.

56’ GOAL! Sophia Smith buried it home after beating Staab on the left side.

59’ Smith almost scored another goal — but this time Kingsbury stepped in.

59’ Janine Beckie was subbed in, and Kuikka subbed out.

63’ Hatch equalized with a header, assisted by Heilferthy.

67’ Bixby came up big with a one-hand save that denied Sanchez.

72’ Sonnett scored, but it was deemed offside.

78’ Weaver and Coffey shot after Beckie’s service to the box, but both attempts were blocked. Klingenberg got a shot on frame after that, but Kingsbury got that ball.

81’ BELLA SAVES THE DAY! A giveaway left Rodman on a 1v1 against Bixby. The goalkeeper stopped the shot with her leg and then made another save when Sanchez collected the second ball.

86’ Olivia Moultrie was subbed in, and Sinclair subbed out.

89’ Great service from Beckie that gave Weaver the opportunity to score the 2-1, but she sent it over the crossbar.

93’ Portland got a free kick. In the end, Nally shot, but it went wide. Then Menges chipped the ball straight to Kingsbury’s gloves.

The match finished 1-1 and, although Portland won’t be very happy after two draws in one week, they will definitely be happy to be unbeaten at home after a very tough game against the reigning champions.

The Portland Thorns will be back at Providence Park on Saturday at 5 p.m. Pacific when they host Houston Dash.