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Portland Thorns open with a win against Orlando Pride

An opening-day crowd of 16,073 fans showed up for the historic match between the Portland Thorns and first-year team Orlando Pride on Sunday night at Providence Park in Portland. Portland overcame a 0-1 deficit to win 2-1 in front of the hometown crowd.

Orlando nearly took an early lead just nine minutes into the match when Laura Alleyway hit a free kick off the crossbar.

Just two minutes later, however, Steph Catley hit a low-driven free kick from just outside the left side of the penalty area, which bounced past a diving Michelle Betos and into the far lower corner for the first goal of the night.

The Pride’s lead was short-lived as Portland scored the equalizer in the 25th minute. The play began with Lindsey Horan sending in a cross intended for Nadia Nadim, who was unable to make good contact with the ball. However, it instead skipped off her head, and Tobin Heath was there to pick it up, and send in another cross, which was smashed in by rookie Iceland international Dagny Brynjarsdottir.

It wasn’t until the 82nd minute that the tie was broken. Allie Long played a ball up the field, but it bounced up off a Pride defender. Tobin Heath once again in the right place at the right time, got a look before she received the ball to set up an oncoming Horan with a one-time pass. Horan took a touch with her right foot to set herself up for a left-footed shot which she buried into the lower left corner of the goal.

Next up, the Orlando Pride (0-1-0) will host the Houston Dash (1-0-0) at the Citrus Bowl on April 23 at 7:30 pm ET, while the Portland Thorns (1-0-0) will be on the road to take on FC Kansas City (0-1-0) also on April 23 at 8:30 pm ET.


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