PORTLAND, Ore. – In the club's first match of the 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup, Portland Thorns FC defeated KC NWSL, 2-1, Friday night at Providence Park. Rocky Rodríguez and Tyler Lussi scored for the Thorns as the club welcomed fans back into their home stadium for the first time since 2019.
Meghan Klingenberg and Christen Westphal delivered assists while Natalia Kuikka made her Thorns debut in the victory.
- MATCHCENTER: Stats
5' - SHOT (POR) - After finding space near the top of the box after a pass from Klingenberg, midfielder Marissa Everett sent her shot just wide of the goal.
8' - GOAL (POR) - Thorns FC took an early lead when Rodríguez headed home a Klingenberg free kick. The goal was the second of Rodríguez's Thorns career and the first goal scored in NWSL in 2021.
21' - SAVE (POR) - Goalkeeper Adrianna Franch made a leaping save to deny a powerful angled shot from KC's Michele Vasconcelos.
58' - GOAL (POR) - Portland's lead was doubled when Lussi rose above two Kansas City defenders and headed home a Christen Westphal cross.
60' - GOAL (KC) - Kansas City cut the deficit to one when Amy Rodriguez flicked the ball into the goal from the edge of the six-yard box.
80' - CHANCE (POR) - Midfielder Angela Salem delivered a far-post cross to the head of Morgan Weaver but Weaver's header flew wide of the Kansas city's goal.
87' - CHANCE (POR) - Weaver forced goalkeeper Abby Smith into a diving save after taking a left-footed shot from a tight angle.
90' - RED CARD (POR) - Simone Charley received a red card following a second yellow card.
90'+ RED CARD (POR/KC) - Weaver and Kansas City's Kristen Edmonds both received red cards for an off-the-ball incident.
- Thorns FC are unbeaten in their last five matches (4-0-1) dating back to Sept. 20, 2020.
- Portland has lost just once in their last 12 matches at Providence Park.
- Kuikka made her Thorns FC and NWSL debut in the match, starting and logging 90 minutes.
- Lussi tallied her fifth career goal in 43 appearances (14 starts) across all competitions for Thorns FC.
- All five of Lussi's goals have come in wins with three of those being game-winners.
- Rodríguez registered her second career goal in 11 games played (10 starts) across all competitions for Portland. She has now scored in consecutive home matches for Portland, notching a goal against OL Reign in the NWSL Fall Series on Sept. 30, 2020.
- Kelli Hubly ended the match with a game-high 10 clearances.
- Madison Pogarch finished the match with a team-high seven tackles and a game-high six interceptions. The seven tackles are tied for the most by a Thorns player in the last three years.
- Christine Sinclair, Crystal Dunn, Sophia Smith, Becky Sauerbrunn, Lindsey Horan were all unavailable for selection to do international duty.
Portland Thorns FC vs. KC NWSL - 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup
April 9, 2021 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Thorns FC 1 1 2
KC NWSL 0 1 1
POR: Rodríguez (Klingenberg), 8
POR: Lussi (Westphal), 58
KC: Rodriguez (Pickett), 60
KC: Pickett (caution), 48
POR: Charley (caution), 49
KC: Rodriguez (caution), 70
POR: Charley (caution, ejection), 89
POR: Parsons (ejection), 90+1
KC: Del Fava (caution), 90+1
POR: Weaver (ejection), 90+2
KC: Edmonds (ejection), 90+3
POR: GK Franch, D Westphal, D Kuikka, D Hubly, D Pogarch, M R. Rodríguez, M Boureille, M Klingenberg © (Salem, 73), M Everett (Weaver, 67), F Charley, F Lussi
Substitutes Not Used: GK Bixby, GK Angerer, D Menges, D Nalley, M Hogan, M Fitzgerald, F Persaud,
TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Rodríguez, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Four players tied, 1); FOULS: 15 (Charley, 5); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 2
KC: GK Smith, D Maemone, D Del Fava, D Corsie, D Edmonds, M Pickett, M Vincent, M Nolf, F Ratcliffe (Strom-Okimoto, 63), F Rodriguez, F Vasconcelos
Substitutes Not Used: GK Bowen, Barnhart, LaBonta, McCain, Nick
TOTAL SHOTS: 10 (Rodriguez, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Rodriguez, 2); FOULS: 12 (Vasconcelos, 3); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 2
Referee: Danielle Chesky
Assistant Referees: Deleana Quan, Kali Smith
4th Official: Adorae Monroy
Weather: Cloudy, 55 degrees