OL Reign 1
Portland Thorns FC 2
October, 10, 2020 – NWSL Fall Series (OL Reign Matchday 3)
Tacoma, WA – Cheney Stadium
OL Reign hosted Cascadia rival Portland Thorns FC in Tacoma on Saturday night. The match was more than merely a rivalry match, as for Portland it was an opportunity to take the Verizon Community Shield.
The final like stakes added an interesting dimension to a match being played in an empty stadium a week and a half after a Thorns thrashing of OLR in Portland. The spoiler role was possibly present, as a draw would not be enough for PTFC and would give the double to Houston Dash for 2020.
Portland pressed early. The Thorns offense is loaded with options even with Tobin Heath in England. Simone Charley was an ever present threat, eventually drawing a penalty in the 42nd. Christine Sinclair is lethal from the spot, burying the penalty. Lindsey Horan had opportunities early on multiple occasions, attacking from spots across the front line.
The late penalty was an especially bitter pill for OL Reign going into the interval. OLR had played a smart tactical defense for long stretches of the first half, clearly holding formation and shape. Even with the Portland heavy pressing and the ball being in the own end, Reign played steady, held their own to keep the match level, and took a few chances forward as the half progressed. The penalty took their ability to absorb and counter knowing the Thorns needed to win for the Community Shield and put them into a different tactical position for the early second half.
The second half got off to a quick start and the match pivoted within the first minute as OL Reign quickly pushed forward and drew a foul in the attacking third. The resulting set piece and follow up deflection by Amber Brooks tied the match in the 46th minute. For Brooks, it was a redemption moment, having been whistled for the PK earlier.
A 73rd minute Christine Sinclair penalty following a foul on Lindsey Horan swung the match back to Portland. OLR coach Farid Benstiti was cautioned after the penalty call. Brooks was called on both penalties, yet booked for neither.
With the victory, Portland moved to 10 points and clear of Houston, clinching the Verizon Community Shield for the NWSL Fall Series.
Match: OL Reign vs. Portland Thorns FC
Date: October 10, 2020
Venue: Cheney Stadium, Tacoma, Wash.
Kickoff: 5:00 p.m. PT
Weather: 58 degrees, partly cloudy
Goals by half 1 2 Total
RGN 0 1 1
POR 1 1 2
POR – Christine Sinclair (penalty) 43’
RGN – Amber Brooks (Shirley Cruz) 46’
POR – Christine Sinclair (penalty) 73’
RGN – Allie Long (caution) 40’
RGN – Farid Benstiti (caution) 72’
RGN – Dani Weatherholt (caution) 90+4’
Lineups & Stats
RGN: GK Casey Murphy, D Madison Hammond (Kimberly Hazlett 83’), D Kristen McNabb, D Amber Brooks, D Steph Cox, M Allie Long (Rosie White 89’), M Shirley Cruz (Morgan Andrews 89’), M Dani Weatherholt, F Jasmyne Spencer (Taylor Smith 67’), F Sofia Huerta, F Bethany Balcer (Leah Pruitt 83’)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Carly Nelson, D Sam Hiatt
Head Coach: Farid Benstiti
Shots on goal: 4
Corner kicks: 3
POR: GK Britt Eckerstrom, D Christen Westphal (Kelli Hubly 86’), D Emily Menges, D Becky Sauerbrunn, D Meghan Klingenberg, M Angela Salem, M Rocky Rodriguez (Emily Ogle 90+2’), M Lindsey Horan, F Christine Sinclair, F Sophia Smith (Morgan Weaver 75’), F Simone Charley (Tyler Lussi 86’)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Nadine Angerer, D Madison Pogarch, F Marissa Everett
Head Coach: Mark Parsons
Shots on goal: 10
Corner kicks: 7