Sky Blue FC (0-15-5, 5 points) returned to National Women’s Soccer League action on Wednesday evening, dropping a 2-1 result to Portland Thorns FC (10-6-6, 36 points) in Providence Park. With the win, the Thorns clinched a spot in the 2018 NWSL playoffs.
Portland took an early lead in this contest after being awarded a penalty kick opportunity in the 13th minute as a result of a tackle just inside the box. Christine Sinclair stepped up to the mark and faked out Sky Blue FC netminder Kailen Sheridan to convert and give the Thorns a 1-0 advantage.
Sky Blue FC nearly leveled the game in the 21st minute when Christina Gibbons crossed the ball from the right flank into the box for Savannah McCaskill to head towards goal, but Thorns goalkeeper Adriana Franch was able to make a goal-line save.
Portland created multiple scoring chances in the first half, but it wasn’t until the 54th minute that the home team doubled its lead. The Thorns were awarded a free kick on the right side of the field just outside the penalty area, and Tobin Heath served a left-footed strike into the box. Her attempt dropped into the middle of the six and skipped into the back of the net to give her club a two-goal lead.
Sky Blue FC had a great chance on goal in the 75th minute off a McCaskill corner kick. McCaskill’s service went right to the top of the six-yard box, and Madison Tiernan rocketed a header towards goal. However, it hit off the crossbar and her teammates could not recover the rebound in time.
The New Jersey club eventually found the back of the net in the 85th minute to avoid being shut out. The scoring sequence began when Domi Richardson lofted a ball towards Imani Dorsey on the far left side of the penalty area. The ball was then deflected off a Thorns defender and landed towards Sarah Killion, who one-timed a left-footed strike past Franch to giver her team a 2-1 scoreline. At the final whistle, the result remained the same.
Sky Blue FC will continue its four-game road stretch this weekend in Houston before returning home to Yurcak Field for its 2018 season finale on Saturday, September 8, hosting the Orlando Pride for a noon kickoff.
NWSL Match Report
Match: Sky Blue FC vs. Portland Thorns FC
Date: August 22, 2018
Venue: Providence Park; Portland, Oregon
Weather: 89 degrees, partly cloudy
NJ: 0 | 1 - 1
POR: 1 | 1 – 2
13 POR Christine Sinclair (Penalty Kick)
54 POR Tobin Heath
85 NJ Sarah Killion
NJ: Sheridan, Tiernan, Frisbie, Richardson, Skroski (Dorsey-63), McCaskill (Groom-78), Killion, Rodriguez, Gibbons, Johnson (Hoy-84), Lloyd
Subs not used: Casey, Pierre-Louis, Freeman, Meehan
Head Coach: Denise Reddy
POR: Franch, Klingenberg, Menges, Sonnett, Carpenter, Horan, Boureille, Heath (Andressinha-79), Sinclair, Raso (Purce-75), Foord (Crnogorcevic-59)
Subs Not Used: Eckerstrom, Ball, Weber
Head Coach: Mark Parsons
Stats Summary: POR / NJ
Shots: 20 / 14
Saves: 4 / 7
Corner Kicks: 6 / 3
Fouls: 11 / 19
Offside: 5 / 1
41 NJ Madison Tiernan (Yellow Card)
67 NJ Savannah McCaskill (Yellow Card)
75 NJ Katie Johnson (Yellow Card)
88 NJ Jen Hoy (Yellow Card)
Referee: Mark Allatin
Assistant Referee 1: Adrienne McDonald
Assistant Referee 2: Sya Magee
Fourth Official: JJ Blodgett