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Match Recap & Highlights: Portland Thorns 1-3 Orlando Pride
Portland melted under Orlando's heat. They started the game off strong, but Orlando just outplayed them.
The Portland Thorns fell flat in Orlando, losing a 1-3 decision to the Pride. Sophia Smith opened the scoring with her sixth goal of the season, but a brace from Adriana and a clincher from rookie Messiah Bright punished the Thorns and powered the hosts to victory.
This game marked 50 NWSL appearances for not one, not two, but three Thornies. Weaver and Smith capitalized on their landmark with an assist and a goal. Vasconcelos subbed in to mark her 50th.
Orlando picked up their third win in a row at home and their 4th win overall. It’s the first time since 2017 that the Pride have collected three home match wins consecutively.
The game started out with a bit more action coming from Orlando. The Thorns, however, struck first — Morgan Weaver found a wide-open Sophia Smith who easily slotted away the goal. Their lead was short-lived though when Orlando’s Adriana fired a gorgeous freekick past Bella Bixby. The rest of the half was largely back and forth with each team finding themselves near the net — nothing came of their chances and the half ended 1-1.
Orlando started the second half off with a bang — Adriana drove through The Thorns backline and sent it into the back of the net for 2-1. The half was still mostly back and forth, but the Pride struck again when rookie player Bright found Bixby out of position and slotted it away, capitalizing on a Thorns mistake. Orlando tallied the better chances in the second half, and they earned the win.
1’ Kickoff in Orlando
5’ The Thorns drew a corner after Smith looked to connect with Weaver, McCutcheon stepped in from Orlando to deny. Klingenberg’s corner was sent near post and was deflected out for a second corner— Kling sends this one far and it’s off of Sinclair for a goal kick this time.
8’ On the other end of the pitch Kelli Hubly picked up a yellow for her tackle on Adriana. It was a foul for sure but maybe not a yellow… Orlando took their freekick outside of the 18— it was deflected off of the Portland wall and eventually out for a goal kick.
11’ Orlando had a few attempts in the Portland box this half, none of them came to much but with Marta back in the lineup it always makes one nervous…
12’ Watt with a dangerous attack into the box but Nally’s head cleared her shot away and out of the Thorns box.
14’ Doyle was looking to take on the Thorn’s backline but Nally and Kuikka were there. She couldn’t decide on whether to shoot or pass and it trickles through to Bixby.
14’ On the other end of the pitch Smith tried to find the back of the net but her shot wasn’t a challenge to Moorhouse.
15’ Dunn was sandwiched at the half and Portland took a free kick, with their possession Smith earned a corner. Kling sent this one short to Dunn who returns it to Kling. It’s sent to Sinclair who knocks it out with her head. She was searching for that goal.
18’ Smith fired off a quick shot at Moorhouse who fumbled it but she wasn’t challenged so she kept the ball. Smith found that shot through three defenders.
20’ PORTLAND GOAL! Sophia Smith tallied her 6th goal of the season. Weaver took the ball into the box and found Smith wide open— she slotted that ball into side netting like it was nothing. PDX 1-0 ORL.
23’ It was almost a mirror image goal when Weaver found Dunn in the box but Orlando deflected that one away. Coffey collected the rebound but her shot from outside the box went just wide of the net. It’s tipped off of Moorhouse and the Thorns corner is sent in by Kling. Moorhouse collected it and sent it up the pitch. A quick counter found Adriana and Watt in the box but Bixby grabbed the ball from the air putting an end to that.
25’ Goal Orlando. Kuikka tallied the second yellow of the match as she tripped up Doyle near the Thorn’s 18. Marta and Adriana stood over the ball— and Adriana sent it flying past Bixby for a pretty beautiful goal. PDX 1-1 ORL.
31’ Smith with a foul this time, this marked the tail end of a few uncharacteristic giveaways by The Thorns. Orlando was giving Portland no space. I must say though— Marta is always a pleasure to watch, after a series of passes from Orlando Marta capitalizes that with a backheel flick, luckily The Thorns clear that attempt away.
34’ Marta fired off a shot, it curled in towards the goal but not enough and it goes wide, not before deflecting off a Thorn player, Orlando’s corner is sent long and Bixby collected the header.
39’ Coffey sent a Thorns freekick into the box, it went just over the head of Hubly and out for a goal kick.
45’ Only one minute of stoppage time was added and neither team was able to do much with that. They went into the locker room even.
The Thorns kicked off the second half in Orlando.
47’ Goal Orlando. The Pride stunned The Thorns at the beginning of the second half. Adriana dribbled around multiple Thorns players and slotted the ball away past Bixby. PDX 1-2 ORL.
51’ Dunn looked to recover a point by playing to Weaver who finds Sinclair, if Orlando hadn’t stepped in front of the shot it would’ve been a goal.
56’ Vasconcelos replaces Sugita and Nally made way for Reyes.
58’ Adriana went flailing to the ground after Hubly connected with her. It was just a foul no card luckily, Adriana just got a body part to the face.
60’ Adriana again looked to put away her third goal but this time her header was just a bit off target.
64’ Smith was dragged down by Montefusco and for that, she earned a yellow. Aggressive shirt tug on her part… but to stop Smith there’s little else you can do, I’m just glad these Thorns jerseys are tough.
66’ Moultrie subs in for Sinclair and Weaver makes way for D’Aquila.
69’ Another for Orlando. This time it's Bright who finds Bixby out of position and slots it away… PDX 1-3 ORl.
71’ Kling corner— headed away. The Thorns regain possession though until Moorhouse flew out to collect a cross. Orlando was looking to slow down the game, they did so through possession. Bixby is forced to come out and punch away the ball, Marta almost made it 4 but Bixby kicked it out. Hard to find time to breathe if you’re a Thornie…
78’ Vasconcelos forced Moorhouse to tip the ball over the post, and Kling sent the corner into the near post. It made its way to Dunn who found the head of Hubly but Moorhouse was there, yet again.
81’ Vasconcelos with another attempt but it wasn’t a clean hit and it trickled out wide for a goal kick.
83’ Dunn is subbed out and Leon replaced her. It’s the first time we’ve seen her take the pitch in a little while.
89’ Moultrie played a great ball in but D’Aquila just missed the mark with her head.
90’ Six minutes of stoppage time were added.
90+2’ Smith drove a ball at net from outside the 18 but Moorhouse collected it.
90+4’ Orlando corner— played short, a time-wasting effort but D’Aquila snagged it and drew a foul. Adriana earned a yellow after taking her out from behind. Portland just worked on possessing, D’Aquila looked to chip Moorhouse but didn’t do enough and Moorhouse collected.
And the final whistle blew, tallying the second league loss of the season for the Thorns.
The road trip concludes for Portland next Sunday in Chicago when the face the Red Stars, with kickoff scheduled for 3 p.m. PT.