Spirit grab late equalizer, draw against Thorns in third Challenge Cup match

Washington Spirit  |   July 6, 2020
Spirit grab late equalizer, draw against Thorns in third Challenge Cup match Featured Image

Alejandra Martin

Boyds, Md., (7/6/2020) – The Washington Spirit tied their third match of the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup 1-1 against the Portland Thorns on Sunday night at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman, Ut.

Washington came out strong in the first half as Spirit forward Ashley Sanchez dribbled the ball up the left flank and connected sweetly on a powerful right-footed strike off that forced Thorns goalkeeper Bella Bixby to make an impressive reflex save.

Spirit forward Kumi Yokoyama continued to force Bixby into tough saves as she found a rebound at the top of the box and lashed at a strike that was pushed just wide of the Portland goal. 

The Thorns also found themselves creating opportunities and at the 27th-minute, Thorns midfielder Lindsey Horan got on the end of a cross from Thorns midfielder Christine Sinclair, but debutant Spirit defender Natalie Jacobs was there to make the save off the goal line.

In the 62nd minute, the Spirit found their first clear-cut chance of the half following a Sanchez through ball into the Thorns’ area that found it’s way to the feet of forward Ashley Hatch, who’s left-footed attempt was turned-away by Bixby.

In the 68th minute, Portland won a freekick just outside of the box that was taken by defender Meghan Klingenberg. Klingenberg floated the ball into the box and found an on running Horan, who finished the play with a diving header to put the Thorns up 1-0. 

Ten minutes later, Spirit midfielder Dorian Bailey took a corner kick for the Spirit that found Sanchez at the near post. Sanchez played an incredible back-heel flick onto the penalty area where Spirit defender Sam Staab rose up to put the header away to even the score at 1-1.

For their last fixture before the knockout stages begin, the Spirit will take on the Houston Dash on Sunday at 12:30 pm ET at Zions Bank Stadium, with the game broadcast live on CBS All-Access. 

-NWSL Match Report-

Match: Portland Thorns vs Washington Spirit

Date: July 5, 2020

Venue: Zions Bank Stadium

Kickoff: 10:00 p.m. ET

Weather: Clear, low 70s   

Scoring Summary:

Goals 1 2 F
Portland 0 1 1
Washington 0 1 1


POR – Horan 68’

WAS – Staab 76’


POR (4-3-3): 31-Bella Bixby; 5-Emily Menges; 25-Meghan Klingenberg (79’ 2-Katherine Reynolds); 20-Kelli Hubly; 18-Christen Westphal (69’ 15-Madison Pogarch); 10-Lindsey Horan; 11-Raquel Rodriguez; 36-Angela Salem (70’ 35-Gabby Seiler); 34-Tyler Lussi; 22-Morgan Weaver (70’ 38-Simone Charley); 12-Christine Sinclair © (45’ 40-Marissa Everett)

Unused Substitutes: 33-Britt Eckerstrom; 39-Meaghan Nally; 30-Celeste Boureille; 41 Anika Rodriguez; 43-Autumn Smithers

WAS (4-3-3): 1-Aubrey Bledsoe;14-Paige Nielsen; 9-Tegan McGrady; 4-Natalie Jacobs (78’ 23-Tori Huster); 3-Sam Staab; 12-Andi Sullivan (c); 11-Jordan DiBiasi (70’ 19-Dorian Bailey); 13-Bayley Feist (45’ 10-Rose Lavelle); 17-Kumi Yokoyama 72’ 22-Jenna Hellstrom); 16-Averie Collins (45’ 33-Ashley Hatch); 2-Ashley Sanchez

Unused Substitutes: 7-Jaye Boissiere; 5-Brooke Hendrix; 26-Meghan McCool; 25-Devon Kerr

Stats Summary: POR / WAS

Shots: 12 / 14

Shots on Target: 4 / 5

Saves: 4 / 3

Blocked Shots: 1 / 4

Fouls: 9 / 7

Offside: 0 / 0


Referee: Karen Abt

Assistant Referee 1: Stephen McGonagle

Assistant Referee 2: Deleana Quan

Fourth Official: Lukasz Szpala

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