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Thorns and Spirit tie 1-1
Sinclair and Ordega with the goals

Portland Thorns FC and the Washington Spirit played to a 1-1 draw on Friday night at Providence Park in Portland, Oregon, in front of 14,485 fans.

With the result the Thorns are now 2-1-1 and the Spirit are 1-2-1.

Portland played the match without goalkeeper Adrianna Franch, who was added to the injury report on Friday morning with right knee pain. Britt Eckerstrom started in her place and made four saves. Bella Geist was signed as a goalkeeper replacement and served as backup goalkeeper in the game.

The Spirit took a 1-0 lead in the 37th minute when Francisca Ordega capitalized following a scramble in the box for her second goal of the season.

 

Ten minutes earlier, the Spirit had another dangerous scramble in the box, but the Thorns escaped that time. The second time, Washington was able to capitalize.

Thorns forward Christine Sinclair scored her fourth goal of the year and her 35th career goal at the end of the first half on a penalty kick. Spirit defender Caprice Dydasco was called for a foul in the box on Thorns forward Ifeoma Onumonu. Sinclair converted to even the score.

The 35 goals move her into a tie for third place all-time with Christen Press.

Ana-Maria Crnogorčević subbed in for the Thorns at the start of the second half and nearly scored her first NWSL goal in the 81st minute. Sinclair served a looping ball into the box that Crnogorčević got her head on, but hit right to Spirit goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe for the save. Bledsoe made five saves in the match.

The Thorns were awarded a second penalty kick late, after Bledsoe fouled Thorns defender Emily Sonnett in the box. This time, Lindsey Horan stepped up to take the PK for Portland, but Bledsoe stopped the shot. The follow-up shot was hit over the crossbar.

 

Thorns coach Mark Parsons told reporters after the game that Sinclair did not take the PK because she was still hurting after a collision with Eckerstrom in the 62nd minute that left her down in the box for several moments. She briefly left the game, but returned and played the full 90 minutes.

Tobin Heath made her 2018 season debut when she subbed in the 60th minute, her first minutes since the 2017 NWSL Championship.

Meghan Klingenberg was also not available for the Thorns on the evening. The Oregonian’s Jamie Goldberg said she was out with an abdominal strain.

The Thorns are 5-0-3 all-time at home vs. Washington.

Both teams will play their next game on Saturday, April 28. Portland will hit the road to take on Utah Royals FC and the Spirit will host the Chicago Red Stars.

 

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