Sinclair's Portland Thorns FC survive comeback from San Diego Wave to grab victory in NWSL Challenge Cup

·3 min read
Portland Thorns FC defeated the San Diego Wave 3-2 on Sunday in NWSL Challenge Cup action in Portland, Oregon. (@ThornsFC/Twitter - image credit)
Portland Thorns FC defeated the San Diego Wave 3-2 on Sunday in NWSL Challenge Cup action in Portland, Oregon. (@ThornsFC/Twitter - image credit)

Christine Sinclair's Portland Thorns FC survived a near-comeback from the San Diego Wave to claim a 3-2 victory in NWSL Challenge Cup action on Sunday in Portland, Ore.

Portland (3-1-1) wasted no time in getting on the board as Sophia Smith scored in the fourth minute of the game.

Midfielder Hina Sugita doubled the Thorns' lead in the 21st minute and then added another in the 41st minute on a cross from Sinclair that was tipped by a Wave defender. Sinclair played all 90 minutes in the win.

Coming out of the halftime break down 3-0, San Diego made a run of its own.

Isabella Briede scored her first NWSL goal in the 46th minute on an assist from American star Alex Morgan. 21 minutes later, Taylor Kornieck scored the very minute she entered the match for Briede.

Morgan missed on an opportunity to tie the game up in the 86th minute and the Wave fell to 1-3-1 as they sit in third in the West Division. The Thorns currently sit in second behind the OL Reign.

OL Reign down Angel City FC on game winner

Olivia Van der Jogt scored the game-winning goal on a skying header in injury time to lift the OL Reign to a 2-1 victory over Angel City FC.

The Reign (4-0-1) held a 1-0 lead, courtesy of Bethany Balcer's 34th minute goal, for much of the match until Angel City's (0-4-1) Simone Charley scored the equalizer in the 83rd minute.

Appearing as though the match would end in a draw, Lauren Barnes sent a cross from distance to the box where there were four Angel City defenders and just two Reign players — one of which was Van der Jogt.

Finding her way through to the ball, Van der Jogt head the ball just past the outstretched hands of goalkeeper DiDi Haračić, who was just barely able to get her fingetips on it, but unable to stop it from going in.

Canadian national team member Quinn played 89 minutes for the Reign before exiting for substitute Olivia Athens. Fellow Canadian team member Vanessa Gilles, of Ottawa, played the entire game on the back end for Angel City.

The OL Reign will face the San Diego Wave on April 23. Angel City will next play the Portland Thorns on April 24.

Rodman leads Spirit to win over Gotham FC

Trinity Rodman contributed two goals as the Washington Spirit defeated NJ/NY Gotham FC 3-1.

Washington (2-0-3) surrendered an early lead as Nahomi Kawasumi scored for Gotham FC (1-2-2) in just the fourth minute of the match to go up 1-0.

Spirit forward Ashley Sanchez answered 20 minutes later with a free kick from just outside of the box.

The 19-year-old Rodman followed up Sanchez's effort with goal in the 39th minute on a cross from Kelley O'Hara.

Rodman scored again in the 75th minute on a cross from Sanchez to seal the victory.

Canadian goalkeeper Devon Kerr, a backup for the Spirit, did not enter the match.

Washington will next play the North Carolina Courage, while Gotham FC will next take on the Orlando Pride. Both games will take place April 23.

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