CARY, N.C. – Playing their first road match of the 2017 season, Portland Thorns FC conceded a late goal to the North Carolina Courage, falling 1-0 in front of 6,298 fans at Sahlen’s Stadium on Saturday night.
Late in the second half, goalkeeper Adrianna Franch kept the match scoreless, diving to her left to save a penalty-kick attempt by North Carolina midfielder Sam Mewis, but just over five minutes later, Courage midfielder Debinha delivered a snap header from close range off a cross from Jessica McDonald to put North Carolina in front 1-0 in the 81st minute.
Portland (1-1-0, 3pts) had several goal-scoring opportunities in the opening 45 minutes. Midfielder Allie Long nearly opened the scoring in the 10th minute, when she received a long pass over the top from defender Celeste Boureille, firing a close-range shot from a tight angle near the right post back across the goal and just inches wide of the left post.
Threatening from distance, midfielder Amandine Henry dribbled into space near the edge of the box and a sent low, hard strike towards the right post, but North Carolina goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo parried the shot attempt away in the 32nd minute. In the second half, Long lined up a shot from 25 yards out on the right side, settling a headed pass from Nadia Nadim, sending her long-range strike inches to the left of the far post in the 64th minute.
Thorns FC return to the Rose City for back-to-back home matches, starting with a match against the Chicago Red Stars on Saturday, April 29, at Providence Park. Saturday’s match kicks off at 1 p.m. (Pacific) and features a national television broadcast on Lifetime.
- Saturday’s match the first official meeting between Portland and the NWSL’s newest club the North Carolina Courage.
- Midfielder Allie Long surpassed 7,000 career minutes played for Thorns FC in the match. Long is the eighth player to reach this milestone in NWSL history.
- Long is one of just five players (Nicole Barnhart, Keelin Winter, Lauren Barnes, Jessica Fishlock) to have reached 7,000 career minutes played all with the same team.
- Defender Meghan Cox made her professional and Thorns FC debut in the match.
- Midfielder Mana Shim made her 70th career appearance in the match.
- Goalkeeper Adrianna Franch became the fourth different goalkeeper in Thorns FC history to save a penalty kick.
Portland Thorns FC (1-1-0, 3pts) vs. North Carolina Courage (2-0-0, 6pts)
April 22, 2017 – Sahlen’s Stadium (Cary, N.C.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Thorns FC 0 0 0
North Carolina Courage 0 1 1
NCC: Debinha (McDonald), 81
NCC: Kawamura (Caution), 27
NCC: Mewis (Caution), 76
Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Franch, D Boureille, D Sonnett, D Menges, D Klingenberg (Cox, 46), M Henry, M Long, M Horan (Shim, 77), F Nadim, F Sinclair ©, F Weber (Raso, 65)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Eckerstrom, F Morris
TOTAL SHOTS: 3 (Long, 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 1 (Henry, 1); FOULS: 12 (Long, 4); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 9
NCC: GK D’Angelo, D Kawamura, D Dahlkemper, D Erceg, D Hinkle, M Doniak (Smith, 77), M Mewis, M Debinha (Rosana, 85), M Zerboni, F Williams, F McDonald (Hatch, 89)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Rowland, D Speck, M Witteman, F Hamilton
TOTAL SHOTS: 14 (Debinha, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Mewis, 2); FOULS: 11 (Doniak, Kawamura, 3); OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 3
Referee: Victor Rivas
Assistant Referees: Adrienne McDonald, Amilcar Sicaju
4th Official: Javier Rodriguez
Weather: Cloudy, 71 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial.