PORTLAND, Ore. – Orlando Pride (0-2-1, 1 point) fell 2-1 to the Portland Thorns (2-1-0, 6 points) on Sunday at Providence Park. Chioma Ubogagu scored her first goal of the season.
“We knew how Portland play, how tough it was going to be and it was exactly that. I thought we did well for spells and did well putting them under pressure for spells. Probably the disappointing thing is we gave away goals that were probably a little bit cheap,” Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni said. “They’re the kind of team that make it extremely hard to score against them. I thought the effort of the players was first class, the last 10 minutes or so where we really came back strongly and almost snatched an equalizer. A tough loss but a lot of positives.”
Ubogagu got the Pride on the board in the 20th minute after Christine Nairn intercepted a quick restart deep in the Thorns’ defensive third. Nairn, the NWSL’s all-time assists leader, quickly found Ubogagu to the left-hand side and Ubogagu fired a low shot past Portland’s Adrianna Franch.
The Thorns got one back in the 28th minute after Lindsey Horan found fortune from the woodwork, ricocheting a shot in from 20 yards out. Christine Sinclair put the Thorns ahead in the 39th minute, getting on the end of a cross from Horan just inside the six-yard box.
The Pride started the match with a three-back formation, as Shelina Zadorsky anchored the middle with Ali Krieger and Toni Pressley to her right and left, respectively. Pressley had a strong showing in her third start of the season, using her speed and power to stifle multiple Thorns’ attacks throughout the match.
UNC product Abby Elinsky, who was signed as a National Team Replacement Player on March 29, made her professional debut in the 67th minute, coming on for Carson Pickett. Ubogagu shifted to the left wing following the substitution.
Orlando returns home for its next two matches, first hosting the Houston Dash at Orlando City Stadium on Sunday, April 22. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. ET with tickets available at orlando-pride.com/tickets or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.
NWSL Match Report
Match: Portland Thorns FC vs. Orlando Pride
Date: April 15, 2018
Venue: Providence Park
Kickoff: 6 p.m. ET
ORL – Chioma Ubogagu (Christine Nairn) 20’
POR – Lindsey Horan (Christine Sinclair) 28’
POR – Christine Sinclair (Lindsey Horan) 38’
Orlando Pride: Ashlyn Harris ©; Ali Krieger, Shelina Zadorsky, Toni Pressley; Kristen Edmonds (Danica Evans 77’), Dani Weatherholt, Christine Nairn, Carson Pickett (Abby Elinsky 67’); Sydney Leroux, Alex Morgan, Chioma Ubogagu
Substitutes Not Used: Haley Kopmeyer; Lotta Ӧkvist; Bridget Callahan; Christine Creighton, Nadia Gomes
Portland Thorns: Adrianna Franch; Katherine Reynolds, Emily Sonnett, Kelli Hubbly; Midge Purce, Celeste Boureille (Angela Salem 90+1’), Lindsey Horan, Meghan Klingenberg; Mallory Weber (Ana Crnogorcevic 60’), Christine Sinclair ©, Tyler Lussi (Ifeoma Onumonu 61’)
Substitutes Not Used: Britt Eckerstrom; Tobin Heath
Stats Summary: POR / ORL
Possession: 54.5% / 45.5%
Shots: 16 / 10
Shots on Goal: 8 / 1
Saves: 0 / 6
Corner Kicks: 4 / 1
Fouls: 7 / 11
Offside: 6 / 1
ORL – Toni Pressley (Yellow Card) 85’
Referee: Farhad Dadkho
Assistant Referee 1: Alicia Messer
Assistant Referee 2: Joshua Halmes
Fourth Official: Chad Stewart