Match Recap & Highlights: Portland Thorns 2-0 Racing Louisville
Portland Thorns won 2-0 against Racing Louisville with goals scored by Christine Sinclair and Morgan Weaver.
After a draw against Houston in the regular season and a loss against San Diego in Portland’s debut for the Challenge Cup, the Thorns went back home to welcome Racing Louisville.
Despite Louisville’s slight edge in possession at halftime, it was the home team the one who shot more and scored two goals. The first tally of the match marked the 60th in the Canadian Captain’s club career and Weaver’s was her second in the season.
The first substitution came at halftime when Coach Mike Norris decided to sub in Meaghan Nally for Reyes.
The Thorns couldn’t score another goal in the next 45 minutes although they created the chances to do so. Weaver could’ve finished her night with a brace but her goal was disallowed after the intervention of VAR. Finally, Becky Sauerbrunn had to leave the field with an injury while the USWNT coach Vlatko Andonovski was watching from the VIP booth.
2’ GOAL! Sophia on the left passed the ball to Crystal Dunn who dummied it and left the ball to Christine Sinclair to finish it.
12’ Hina Sugita and Sinclair helping in defense led to Morgan Weaver's shot that goalkeeper Katie Lund had to save.
15’ Very nice cross by Meghan Klingenberg to Sugita in the far post. She couldn’t connect with it.
31’ Savannah DeMelo put Portland’s defense to the test in the first half and Sam Coffey earned a yellow card.
36’ Double save by Katie Lund! First, she stopped Smith’s shot and then Sinclair’s.
38’ Dunn sent a service to the far post to Sugita. She in turns passed the ball to Sinclair who was coming in behind. The Canadian got to shoot but it was blocked.
40’ Recovery run by Kelli Hubly who stopped Davis’ attack with a sliding tackle.
43’ Great play by Portland. A combination between Weaver and Smith in the box ends up with Lund intercepting the ball. It was a nice build-up nonetheless.
45+5’ GOAL! Sugita stole the ball in the midfield and Smith carried it on the left. She sent a low cross to Sugita who can’t connect with it and it’s Weaver who does it and buried it in the back of the net.
51’ Bella Bixby made a one-hand save, stopping Ary Borges’ shot.
57’ Becky Sauerbrunn had to leave the game with an injury and Emily Menges came in her place. Adriana Leon also came for Sugita.
59’ Corner for Louisville. Jaelene Howell headed the ball but Bixby made another big save.
69’ Goal disallowed. Weaver scored her brace after Leon’s low cross but VAR intervenes and disallows it due to the Canadian’s handball.
73’ Substitutions: Rocky Rodríguez entered the match for Dunn and Izzy D’Aquila for Smith.
82’ Perfect timing once again by Hubly in a sliding tackle to deny Paige Monaghan's shot.
86’ Woman down. When trying to clear a ball, Carson Pickett hit Nally in the chest. Medics treated her and after that, she was good to go.
90’ The referee added seven more minutes of stoppage time. Portland was in control until the game ended with Louisville trying to get a goal but finding no success.
A few thoughts
It was a good game overall for the Thorns who will be happy to go back to winning ways after getting a draw and a loss in the past seven days. Nonetheless, the feeling after the game was one of nonconformity knowing they could’ve done better.
Racing kept Sophia the furthest away as possible from goal but even though she didn’t score, she kept providing balls for her teammates, absorbing pressure, and drawing defenders.
Also, a big shout out to our keeper Bella Bixby who registered clean sheet no. 20 today and has become the fastest goalkeeper to get that number of clean sheets in league history.
Last but not least, coach Norris said in the post-match press conference that Becky Sauerbrunn had to be subbed out due to a foot injury and that they will need to evaluate it further with the doctor.
Coming up next…
Portland will host Angel City on Saturday, April 29th, at 7:30 p.m. PT.
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