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Thorns, Red Stars continue in opposite directions

Alex Morgan Portland Thorns
Alex Morgan Portland Thorns

Alex Morgan scored the game-winner in Portland's 2-0 victory over Chicago on Sunday. (Photo Copyright Amanda McCormick | www.amandamccormick8.com)

It didn’t take long for Portland Thorns FC to remind the Chicago Red Stars which team was unbeaten and which still hadn’t won this season.

Less than three minutes, to be more precise.

Alex Morgan scored early and the Thorns won in greater Chicago for the second time in three weeks, beating the Red Stars 2-0 on Saturday at Benedictine University in front of 1,329 fans.

Allie Long scored the other goal for Portland in the 35th minute when she redirected a low Nikki Washington cross from the right flank. Long was unmarked at the back post.

Chicago showed moments of getting back into the game, including in the 22nd minute when Julianne Sitch caught all of the ball on a half-volley at the back post, forcing Portland goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc into big save to keep Thorns FC ahead.

But the majority of play once again fell to Portland, which should have gone up 3-0 in the 39th minute. Christine Sinclair, with a hint of offside, got behind the Red Stars’ defense and struck a screaming shot off the underside of the crossbar. The ball looked to cross the line, but the assistant referee determined it did not.

Red Stars goalkeeper Erin McLeod was forced into action throughout the night, including a critical kick-save on Morgan’s 8-yard shot in the 76th minute.

The win puts Portland (4-0-1, 13 pts) back into sole possession of first place, while Chicago (0-3-2, 2 pts.) remains winless. Already missing Shannon Boxx (minor knee surgery) in the midfield, Red Stars coach had to substitute Leslie Osborne in the second half and Ella Masar in the first half due to injury.

Chicago Red Stars (0-3-2, 2 pts) vs. Portland Thorns FC (4-1-0, 13 pts)
May 12, 2013 – Benedictine University Sports Complex Stadium (Lisle, IL)

Goals by Half 1          2          F
POR                                2         0          2
CRS                                0         0          0

Scoring Summary
POR – Alex Morgan (Nikki Marshall) 3’
POR – Allie Long (Nikki Washington) 35’

Shots: Portland 9, Chicago 7
Shots on goal: Portland 6, Chicago 3 
Saves: Portland: Karina LeBlanc (3); Chicago: Erin McLeod (4) 
Corners: Boston 9, Chicago 5 Offside: Portland 0, Chicago 0 Cautions: Portland: 1; Chicago: 1
 Fouls: Portland 1, Chicago 5 Ejections: none

RED STARS LINEUP: GK Erin McLeod, Lydia Vandenbergh, Taryn Hemmings, Carmelina Moscato, Rachel Quon, Zakiya Bywaters, Lori Chalupny, Leslie Osborne (Jessica McDonald 72’) , Julianne Sitch (Jackie Santacaterina 46’), Ella Masar (Alyssa Mautz 28’), Lauren Fowlkes

THORNS FC LINEUP: GK Karina LeBlanc, Marian Dougherty, Kat Williamson, Rachel Buehler, Nikki Marshall Allie Long, Becky Edwards, Mana Shim (Courtney Wetzel 83’), Nikki Washington (Danielle Foxhoven 56’), Christine Sinclair, Alex Morgan (Jessica Shufelt 92’)

Referee: Kari Seitz

Assistant Referees: Jennifer Jones, Cesar Ibarra

4th Official: Greg Dopka
Attendance: 1329
Weather: 55 degrees, light wind

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial

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