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Orlando Pride welcomed league-leading Portland Thorns FC on Sunday evening for a hard-fought match that saw the Thorns take a narrow 2-1 victory at Camping World Stadium. A 90th minute goal by U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder Lindsey Horan gave the visitors the victory and ended the Pride’s home unbeaten streak.
“I thought what we did tonight, against the best team in the league, we went out and fought and virtually outplayed them the whole game and created more chances. We probably played our best soccer of the season, and then we gave away two of the dumbest goals that you could possibly give away to a team that is basically down and out,” said Orlando Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni. “I’m really delighted with how we played, really delighted with the chances that we created, with the energy and with how the players stuck to the game plan. I am absolutely seethingly angry about how we managed to lose the game.”
After a scoreless first half that saw few chances for both sides, the Pride (5-6-0, 15 points) grabbed the lead in the 67th minute when Jasmyne Spencer (pictured above) scored with a clever chipped goal to beat Thorns goalkeeper Michelle Betos from approximately 25 yards. Spencer’s goal came as a result of a long ball from defender Steph Catley who collected the ball in midfield and aimed for Alex Morgan, who was making a run behind the Portland defense. Betos came well off her line to punch away from the threatening challenge Morgan only for the ball to fall to Spencer who fired into the top right corner.
The Thorns, who lead the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) with 23 points, then responded with a goal from Dagný Brynjarsdóttir in the 80th minute. Defender Emily Sonnett sent a long ball to Christine Sinclair, who deftly chipped a header to the on-rushing Brynjarsdóttir. The Icelandic forward beat Laura Alleway to the ball and sent her shot past Ashlyn Harris from the top of the 18 yard box.
Sinclair was again involved in the game-winner as she found second-half substitute Hayley Raso making a run to the far post. The Australian forward sent a quick pass back to the middle and found Horan whomade no mistake with her left footed finish past Harris.
Orlando now has a 14-day break before facing the Boston Breakers on July 10 at 5 p.m. ET at Camping World Stadium.
Orlando Pride: Ashlyn Harris; Josée Bélanger, Laura Alleway, Monica, Steph Catley; Dani Weatherholt (Sam Witteman 89’), Kaylyn Kyle (Becky Edwards 87’), Kristen Edmonds; Jasmyne Spencer, Alex Morgan, Christina Burkenroad (Jamia Fields 57’)
Substitutes Not Used: Megan Dorsey; Toni Pressley; Sarah Hagen
Portland Thorns FC: Michelle Betos; Katherine Reynolds, Emily Sonnett, Emily Menges, Meghan Klingenberg; Allie Long, Lindsey Horan, Amandine Henry (Mallory Weber 92’); Nadia Nadim (Dagný Brynjarsdóttir 71’), Christine Sinclair, Tobin Heath (Hayley Raso 63’)
Substitutes Not Used: Adrianna Franch; Celeste Boureille
More photos at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com