Portland Thorns FC edged out Seattle Reign FC 2-1 on Saturday night at Starfire Stadium. Canadian international Christine Sinclair netted a brace, putting her on 10 goals for the season. US international Megan Rapinoe started the game off strong for Seattle in the 3rd minute of the match when she dribbled up the left flank and shot past Portland’s LeBlanc for a side-netter goal. Sinclair equalized in the 8th minute when she snuck behind the Seattle defense for a one-on-one with goalkeeper Hope Solo. After receiving a through ball that caught the Reign’s defense high, and Solo outside of the 18-yard-box, she took a touch around the keeper and passed into an open goal.
It was an action packed first half with many opportunities for Seattle. Rapinoe launched a long shot just wide of the goal in the 20th minute and midfielder Jessica Fishlock had a shot from inside the 18 that sailed just high right of the goal in the 27th minute.
10 minutes into the second half Rapinoe nearly curled a corner kick straight into the upper net but a diving effort from Leblanc kept the game tied. Sinclair’s second goal of the night sealed the victory for Portland in the 84th minute. After chasing down long ball from the right flank she slotted a shot into the far post. Despite going down late in the game, Seattle kept up its attack until the final seconds of the match. In a flurry of shots from the 87th minute into the 90th, Rapinoe hit a scorcher off the crossbar followed by rookie midfielder Christine Nairn who forced LeBlanc to make a diving save in the 87th. Leblanc also pushed a long shot from Fishlock over the bar in the waning moments of stoppage time. The win for Portland led to a sweep of the season series with Seattle, 4-0-0, in front of a sold out crowd of 3,855 at the Moda Health Pitch at Starfire Stadium.
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