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Portland Defeats Chicago 1-0

The Portland Thorns took on the visiting Chicago Red Stars on Saturday afternoon in a match that ended 1-0 for the home side. The only goal of the match came off the foot of Nadia Nadim in the 27th minute.

Following a questionable handball by Christen Press in the 26th minute, the referee pointed to the spot, awarding the Thorns a penalty kick.

Nadim was able to send Chicago goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher diving right as she shot the ball to the left side of the goal.

Chicago was able to get past Portland’s back line on numerous occasions, but could not finish their chances. Franch also came up big on several plays to keep the ball out of the net.

Most notable in the first half was a play in which Press scooped up the ball into the penalty area, where Sofia Huerta controlled it with her chest and then hit a half-volley over the goal.

Three minutes into the second half, Huerta had another shot, but it went wide, hitting the outside of the net. In the 59th minute, as a cross deflected off a Portland defender, Franch gave a huge effort to dive and slap the ball away.

On the flip side, Christine Sinclair nearly doubled Portland’s lead in the 59th minute as well as she took a shot, but the ball bounced just wide of the goal.

Press had another shot on goal in the 60th minute, but Franch did well to scoop it. A minute later, Julie Ertz took a shot from the far right side of the penalty area that troubled Franch, who stopped the shot but wasn’t able to grab onto it. She did well to get up quickly and pounce on the rebound before Press could get to it.

The Thorns had a huge opportunity to increase the lead in the 68th minute as they counter-attacked, led by the speedy Hayley Raso. She laid off the ball for Lindsey Horan, but Naeher came out strong to steal what looked less like a 50-50 ball and more like a 70-30 ball in favor of Horan.

Chicago’s final good chance to equalize came in the 83rd minute as Stephanie McCaffrey dribbled herself into an open space past to Portland defenders to unleash a shot, but it went straight to Franch.

Next week, the Thorns will remain at home to take on the Seattle Reign on Saturday, May 6, at 7:00 p.m. PT. The match will be available on the go90 app.

The Red Stars will be at home as well to host the Houston Dash on Saturday at Toyota Park. The match will air live on Lifetime at 3:00 p.m. CT.

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