It was a tremendous match between the Washington Spirit and the Portland Thorns, which at the end of the night led to a 1-1 Draw in the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup, as the team continues its amazing play at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman, Utah.
The Spirit started off on a strong note as forward Ashley Sanchez dribbled the ball up the left flank and connected sweetly on a powerful right-footed strike off that forced Thorns goalkeeper Bella Bixby to make an impressive reflex save.
Spirit forward Kumi Yokoyama continued to force Bixby into tough saves as she found a rebound at the top of the box and lashed at a strike that was pushed just wide of the Portland goal.
Portland started to swing the momentum in their favor at the 27th-minute, Thorns midfielder Lindsey Horan got on the end of a cross from Thorns midfielder Christine Sinclair, but debutant Spirit defender Natalie Jacobs was there to make the save off the goal line.
In the 62nd minute, the Spirit found their first clear-cut chance of the half following a Sanchez through ball into the Thorns’ area that found it’s way to the feet of forward Ashley Hatch, who’s left-footed attempt was turned-away by Bixby.
Portland was able to win a freekick just outside of the box in the 68th minute, that amazing opportunity was taken by defender Meghan Klingenberg. Klingenberg floated the ball into the box and found an on running Horan, who finished the play with a diving header to put the Thorns up 1-0.
Ten minutes later, Spirit midfielder Dorian Bailey took a corner kick for the Spirit that found Sanchez at the near post. Sanchez played an incredible back-heel flick onto the penalty area where Spirit defender Sam Staab rose up to put the header away to even the score at 1-1.
For their last fixture before the knockout stages begin, the Spirit will take on the Houston Dash on Sunday at 12:30 pm ET at Zions Bank Stadium, with the game broadcast live on CBS All-Access.