The Portland Thorns and Washington Spirit played to a 1-1 draw on Sunday night in the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup. The game featured one of the best goals and one of the best assists of the tournament so far and also some highlight-reel saves from both goalkeepers.
Thorns star Lindsey Horan got the scoring started in the 69th minute with an impressive diving header. The 26-year-old laid out on a set piece and sent the ball flying into the back of the net.
The Spirit equalized less than 10 minutes later. On a corner kick, Ashley Sanchez made a tremendous back-heel flick at the near post to send the ball to the six-yard box. Washington's Sam Staab was on the receiving end of Sanchez's masterful pass and headed it past Portland goalkeeper Bella Bixby.
Horan nearly scored again in the waining minutes of the game, but her low strike was turned away by Spirit keeper Aubrey Bledsoe. The result gave the Spirit four points in three games at the Challenge Cup, moving the team into a tie for second place in the standings for the moment. The Thorns, meanwhile, are still winless at the 2020 Challenge Cup, but have earned two draws in three games.
The 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup continues Wednesday. All games can be streamed on CBS All Access.
Thorns 1, Spirit 1 (Final)
⚽Thorns: Lindsey Horan - 69'
⚽Spirit: Sam Staab - 77'
Portland Thorns FC: Going up in the second half on a Horan header is usually a recipe for success in the Portland Thorns playbook, but the team was unable to come away with the win tonight after some questionable marking on a set piece. The Thorns have yet to produce a multi-goal game in Utah, and are still working in their younger forwards. But this is a match to build on as they move on into the final round of group play. Portland could very well be a team to be feared in the knockout stage.
Washington Spirit: Unable to connect early in the final third, the Spirit we able to make some adjustments to the second half in an effort to win the match. Subbing Rose Lavelle and Ashley Hatch provided additional looks on goal, but it was an impressive back-heel volley style flick from Sanchez on a set piece that Staab, a defender, was able to put away for the equalizer.