The Portland Thorns tallied a come from behind win on the road at Segra Field, when they down the Washington Spirit by a 2-1 margin. A very strange Bella Bixby own goal got the hosts on the board, but unanswered goals from Christine Sinclair in the 84th minute and Morgan Weaver in second half stoppage time saw the Thorns steal all three points.
The midweek action for the Thorns got delayed at least by 1 hour due to bad weather in D.C. But it wasn’t just the weather the only thing that was bad, because also bad news awaited Portland just minutes before the kick-off when the club announced Sophia Smith couldn’t start as was planned, and was replaced by Marissa Everett.
Marissa Everett now starting in place of Sophia Smith. https://t.co/WTnrLuZNqN— Portland Thorns FC (@ThornsFC) August 11, 2022
Both teams produced good opportunities in the first half with both goalkeepers being crucial for their teams.
13’ Sugita passed the ball to Sinclair who gets to shoot but without much strength and Aubrey Bledsoe got the ball.
15’ Dangerous play for the Thorns. A giveaway put Rodman vs Bixby and the Portland ‘keeper got to the ball and cleared it away from her box.
Washington put high pressure on Portland and didn’t let them get the ball away from their part of the field in the first 15 minutes.
21’ Cross by Rodman to the far post where it connected with Ashley Hatch. The header went out but it was close.
25’ Great ball by Coffey to Hina Sugita. She could have got a clean shot but her first touch wasn’t the best and the ball got lost in the end line.
27’ Ryan passed the ball to Hina, who headed it and got deflected. Marissa Everett then got the opportunity to open the score but Washington's defense sent the ball to the corner.
28’ Another great opportunity for Portland. Sinclair sent the ball to a running Sugita. She passed to Marissa but it went high.
33’ Yazmeen Ryan sent a cross to the box to Marissa, but her shot is a little weak and the ball finishes in Kingsbury’s gloves.
34’ Bella Bixby save! Sullivan finds space to shoot but Bella was prepared.
36’ Coffey tried to pass to the left but it hit Rodman. Ryan picked up the ball and shot but it went high.
38’ Coffey found space and Ryan inside the box. She gets the shot off but Kingsbury stopped the ball.
40’ Washington had the opening goal in the boots of Sanchez but Bella denied her, making a big save in the process!
42’ Corner for Portland. Washington cleared the ball but it didn’t pass Meghan Klingenberg. She served it inside the six, where it connected with Everett but she flicked the ball a little too high again.
44’ Opportunity for the Spirit, as Sanchez shot from near range but high.
The referee didn’t give any stoppage time and both clubs headed to the locker rooms at the end of 45 minutes. The first half brought opportunities for both clubs, with Marissa Everett having at least 4 clear chances but with no luck.
46’ Rodman stole the ball and passed to Bailey, who shot from close range but high.
48’ Foul over Marissa at the edge of the box. Brooks was shown a yellow and Portland had a near-range opportunity. Yazmeen Ryan executed a brilliant shot but it went over the crossbar by inches.
52’ Sugita’s shot went wide.
60’ Big scare for Portland when Becky Sauerbrunn’s leg had to be checked by the doctor but after that, she could continue playing.
61’ Tegan McGrady entered the match for Meghan Klingenberg.
64’ Sanchez passed the ball to McKeown but she can’t connect with the ball. Nonetheless, Rodman connected with the ball and had space and time, but shoots a little wide.
66’ Janine Beckie entered for Marissa Everett.
67’ Janine started to impact the game with a great low cross to Sinclair but Kingsbury got the ball first.
69’ The crossbar saved Portland! Bella was already beaten and Hatch's powerful header hit the woodwork.
73’ Morgan Weaver entered for Ryan.
76’ Washington goal 1-0. After a big save by Bella, who denied Feist, the home team had a corner. Portland’s keeper slapped the ball first and then grabbed hold of it, but then dropped it and Hatch was near to cash it in. It was ruled that the ball had originally crossed the line while Bixby was holding it, and the goal was credited as an own goal.
After that mysterious own goal, Portland got a little deflated. But the match wasn’t over and in the 84th minute, the Thorns got a corner that proved to be crucial for the visitors.
85’ CHRISTINE SINCLAIR SCORES! 1-1. Kelli Hubly connected with Coffey’s service from the corner and after a powerful shot that hit the wood, Sinclair got the rebound and buried it in the back of the net.
86’ McKeown's powerful shot went high.
The referee added 8 minutes of stoppage time— and one of the subs was going to be key for the Thorns.
90+3’ MORGAN WEAVER SCORES! 2-1. An “ok, I’ll do it myself” moment by Morgan Weaver put things 2-1 for Portland, as she collected the ball on the wing and then weaved into the box to curl in the winner.
90+8’ Rodman got a late opportunity in front of Bella, but the keeper prevailed and the match finished seconds later.
The win stretched Portland’s lead at the top of the table, with seven regular season games remaining.
After this big win on the road, the Thorns will be back in town for the WICC on August 17 when they play against Rayadas de Monterrey. After that, they will face the North Carolina Courage for the second time in the month of August on the 24 for the regular season.