The Portland Thorns FC defeated the Orlando Pride, 2-0, in front of 16,145 fans at Providence Park in Lifetime’s first Game of the Week.
It was a frantic opening as the Pride pressed the Thorns early but chances from shaky defensive play by the back line and goalkeeper Adrianna Franch. In the 10th minute, Jasmyne Spencer had a look after a heavy touch by Franch left the goal wide open but Spencer’s shot went wide. In the 15th minute, Spencer again had a chance after intercepting an ill-advised Thorns’ square pass across the box but her heavy touched allowed Franch to shut the danger down.
On the opposite end, Pride goalkeeper made some key plays early, including stopping Christine Sinclair in a 1-v-1:
Franch and the Thorns’ defense settled, though, and the Portland midfield slowly started to impose itself.
The breakthrough came in the 31st minute after Alanna Kennedy was called for a handball. Nadia Nadim converted from the spot, sending the ball to Harris’ right and giving the lead to Portland into the halftime.
The Pride opened up the second half pressing and forcing Franch into several saves, which the keeper was equal to. The Pride found success on its left side with defender Steph Catley often the offensive catalyst.
In the 67th minute, Allie Long dispossessed Maddy Evans and slotted a pass to Sinclair, who beat both Ali Krieger and Harris with a cool left-footed finish to the lower right.
The scoreline held and Portland improved its home-opener record to 5-0-0.
The Pride squandered its chances but that will most likely change when Marta suits up next week in the club’s home opener against the Washington Spirit. The Thorns will want to improve its defense and start quicker when they take on the North Carolina Courage on the road.