Portland Thorns FC slips past Sky Blue FC in 1-0 win
Despite starting many new players, Portland was able to pull out a 1-0 win against Sky Blue FC. | Photo: isiphotos.com via @ThornsFC

Portland Thorns FC has finished their six-game road trip with a 1-0 win against Sky Blue FC. The Thorns bounced back after a 3-1 loss against the Washington Spirit last weekend, while the loss leaves Sky Blue still searching for their first win of the season. The two teams had already faced off once this year and played to a 2-2 draw. 

Poor performances all around

Fans hoping to watch a beautiful game of soccer were sorely disappointed as both teams struggled to maintain possession and generate quality offensive opportunities. Portland was missing nine players thanks to the upcoming 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup, but that didn't stop them from being the better side throughout the match.

The Thorns came out of the gate on the front foot, and they earned a few corner kicks just after the match started. Defender Meghan Klingenberg played the ball into the Sky Blue FC box numerous times, but SBFC goalkeeper Didi Haracic was up to the task. 

After the early flurry, the game slowed down and there were very few offensive opportunities in the rest of the first half. While most players struggled, Thorns rookie Simone Charley was a consistent problem for the Sky Blue FC defense that was missing fullback Caprice Dydasco. Newly acquired Gina Lewandowski played the position admirably.

The game opened up in the second half, but the quality of play remained poor. Before the goal, Charley had a chance to head the ball in from close range, but her header found the woodwork and was cleared out of danger. 

Simone Charley had a great game in her first start of the season. | Photo: isiphotos.com
Simone Charley had a great game in her first start of the season. | Photo: isiphotos.com

The lone goal of the match came in the 79th minute. Charley once again found herself in a dangerous position in front of goal, and she took a low shot. It was blocked, but the ball bounced out to Midge Purce at the top of the box. Her shot was low, and it slipped past the outstretched foot of Haracic. It was the first goal of the season for Purce.

Sky Blue didn't give up, but they never tested goalkeeper Britt Eckerstrom. The game ended 1-0, and it extended the winless streak of Sky Blue FC.

The passing in this game was particularly poor from both teams. Sky Blue completed just 66% of their passes, and Portland completed only 56% of theirs.