TACOMA, Wash. – Portland Thorns FC surrendered a goal in each half, falling 2-0 to Reign FC in a road match at Cheney Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Thorns FC will conclude the regular season with a home match – their final match at Providence Park in 2019 – on Saturday, Oct. 12, against the Washington Spirit.
Portland (11-6-6, 39pts) enters the final weekend of the NWSL regular season in third place, with a two-point lead over Reign FC (37pts) in fourth place. With a win on Oct. 12, Portland would secure third place and square off against the Chicago Red Stars in the semifinals of the NWSL playoffs. Thorns FC would finish in fourth place with a Reign FC win against the Orlando Pride on Oct. 12 and a Portland loss or draw at home against the Spirit, and would then travel to take on the North Carolina Courage. Reign FC currently holds the head-to-head tiebreaker with Portland if the two teams finished the regular season tied on points.
Against the run of play in the 25th minute, Meghan Klingenberg served a ball to the edge of the box and Reign FC’s Lauren Barnes attempted to clear the ball, but Hayley Raso put pressure on Barnes and created a turnover. Raso redirected the ball with the outside of her right foot, sending a shot inches wide of the right post.
In the 27th minute, Emily Menges made a key defensive stop, denying Beverly Yanez from close range. Yanez pounced on the loose ball after Megan Rapinoe’s initial shot hit the crossbar, but Menges slid back over to block Yanez’s attempt near the goal line.
Moments later, Reign FC’s Theresa Nielsen delivered a cross from the right wing to the edge of the six-yard box for Jodie Taylor, who settled the ball and delivered a strike inside the left post in the 27th minute to give Reign FC a 1-0 lead.
Searching for the equalizer late in the second half, Ellie Carpenter found space down the right side of the field in 73rd minute. Carpenter received a pass from Dagny Brynjarsdottir and sent a cross to the center of the box that was blocked by Barnes. The ball landed for Lindsey Horan, who unleashed a volleyed shot headed for the right corner of the goal, but Reign FC goalkeeper Casey Murphy dove to her left at full extension to push the ball wide of the target.
Reign FC doubled their lead in the 81st minute. Bethany Balcer received a pass inside the box on the right side, turned and fired the ball into the bottom right corner of the goal.
Portland earned a free kick just outside the box on the right side in the 85th minute. Horan stepped up and fired a swerving strike that skipped just wide of the left post.
Deep in second-half stoppage time, Simone Charley made a run to the right post and got on the end of a ball played into the box, but she fired her shot from close range just wide.
Thorns FC play host to the Washington Spirit in their final home match of the 2019 season on Saturday, Oct. 12, at Providence Park. Beginning at 7:30 p.m. (Pacific), the match will be broadcast on Yahoo! Sports. Tickets for Oct. 12 are available for purchase at ThornsFC.com.
- Thorns FC have made four consecutive appearances in the NWSL playoffs. Only the Chicago Red Stars have made more consecutive playoff appearances (5).
- Portland has made more postseason appearances (6) than any team in the NWSL.
- Klingenberg and Katherine Reynolds both appeared in their 22nd match of the season on Sunday. Their 22 appearances rank as the most on the team this season.
- Emily Sonnett made her 70th career start for Thorns FC in the match. She is the sixth player in club history to start at least 70 matches.
Portland Thorns FC (11-6-6, 39pts) at Reign FC (10-6-7, 37pts)
Sept. 29, 2019 – Cheney Stadium (Tacoma, Wash.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Reign FC 1 1 2
Portland Thorns FC 0 0 0
RFC: Taylor (Nielsen), 27
RFC: Balcer (Nielsen), 81
POR: Foord (caution), 34
RFC: Nielsen (caution), 36
RFC: Yanez (caution), 51
POR: Brynjarsdottir (caution), 57
POR: Sonnett (caution), 89
POR: GK Franch, D Carpenter, D Sonnett, D Menges, D Klingenberg, M Brynjarsdottir, M Horan, M Sinclair ©, F Raso (Charley, 78), F Purce (Reynolds, 46), F Foord (Crnogorcevic, 70)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Eckerstrom, D Ball, M Ogle, M Andressinha
TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Raso, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Horan, 2); FOULS: 12 (Brynjarsdottir, 4); OFFSIDES: 5; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 1
RFC: GK Murphy, D Nielsen, D Quinn, D Barnes, D Catley, M Long, M Yanez, M McNabb, F Jenkins (Balcer, 74), F Taylor (Cox, 86), F Rapinoe (Onumonu, 90+4)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Williams, D, D Celia, M Utsugi, M White
TOTAL SHOTS: 15 (Rapinoe, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Taylor, 2); FOULS: 8 (Catley, 2); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 2
Referee: Matthew Franz
Assistant Referees: Kali Smith, Jennifer Garner
4th Official: Mike Hohnholz
Weather: Cloudy, 54 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial