First Half Goals Boost Orlando Pride Past Portland Thorns

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First Half Goals Boost Orlando Pride

PORTLAND, OREGON (May 12, 2018) — The Orlando Pride have done the impossible.

Ever since the club’s existence, the Pride have never beaten the Portland Thorns FC at Providence Park. However, on Saturday, with 17,115 fans — primarily representing the Thorns — present, Orlando broke the curse.

First-half goals from Alex Morgan and Christine Narin vaulted the Pride past Portland, beating them 2-1. Morgan’s goal was her first of the season.

First Half Goals Boost Orlando Pride Past Portland Thorns

Both goals were unassisted.

Meanwhile, the Thorns, only two minutes after Narin’s goal, caught up with one goal scored by Christine Sinclair. Sinclair’s goal was assisted by midfielder Tobin Heath.

After the match, Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni said he was “delighted” with the victory.

“An absolutely unbelievable performance away from home, at the toughest place,” Sermanni said. “To come and get points against a team we’ve never beaten before is fantastic. To get back up the way we did after Wednesday night was first class. I think what we showed today were all the elements required to win games like this.”

Sermanni also called the match a “very physical” game.

“At times we couldn’t get the ball down and play it because Portland puts you under enormous pressure,” Sermanni said. “I just think the level of concentration, our work ethic and the way we were switched on was fantastic.”

Three Takeaways

  1. Morgan’s confidence booster: Morgan hasn’t gotten much action in the last couple of weeks due to injury. However, coming back and scoring a goal in the 11th minute is a big confidence booster. One of the best forwards in the league, Morgan is a key component for Orlando.
  2. Up the ladder they go: While it’s going to take a lot to catch up to first-place North Carolina Courage, the Pride are eyeing second place. The team climbed up to third place with the victory, only one point under the Seattle Reign FC, who were victorious against Sky Blue on Saturday.
  3. Down the ladder they go: The Thorns have to make a change. A few weeks ago, the Thorns were sitting in second place, but have dropped down to fifth. Angela Salem will return to the team with her graduate school over for the semester. Possibly putting her in the midfield with Heath and Lindsey Horan could revive the reigning champions.

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