Sky Blue FC travels to Portland and dominates the Portland Thorns at home

Providence Park normally serves as a fortress for the Portland Thorns, but not tonight as Sky Blue comes out with three points.

Sky Blue FC travels to Portland and dominates the Portland Thorns at home
Sam Kerr (right) contributed an assist and two goals for Sky Blue's win in Portland l Source: SkyBlueFC on Twitter
Portland Thorns FC
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Sky Blue FC
Portland Thorns FC: Franch; Klingenberg, Menges, Sonnett, Booureille; Long, Henry, Raso, Horan, Weber (Sykes, min. 62); Sinclair
Sky Blue FC: Sheridan; Mills, Freeman, Pearce, O'Hara; Galton (Hayes, min. 69), Killion, Rodriguez, Lytle (Stanton, min. 75); Kerr, Meehan (Tiernan, min. 61)
SCORE: 0-1, min. 1, Rodriguez. 0-2, min. 70, Kerr. 0-3, min. 88, Kerr. 1-3, min. 90+5, Sinclair.

Typically the story is when a team comes to Portland they get dominated while the Portland Thorns feed off the energy of large crowds in Providence Park. That was not the case for the Sky Blue team that was 3,000 miles from home in the Rose City. Before the international break the roles were reversed, as the Thorns went to New Jersey and claimed a 2-0 win. Sky Blue FC traveled to Portland and got three points in an explosive fashion to end Portland's six game unbeaten streak and eight game home unbeaten streak.

Explosive from start to finish

The action started quickly after the whistle was blown to start the game. Just 25 seconds into the game Raquel Rodriguez buried a ball past Adrianna Franch after an end line pass to the feet of Rodriguez from Sam Kerr. That goal tied the record for the fastest goal in NWSL history.  Sky Blue almost added to their lead in 33rd minute when Leah Galton got taken down in the box and was awarded a penalty kick. The league's leading goal scorer, Sarah Killion, was not able to put her attempt away as it went wide left. After the early boost of confidence for Sky Blue they were able to keep the score line 1-0 through the first half.

While impressive things were happening offensively for Sky Blue they were also happening defensively. Kailen Sheridan, goalkeeper, made a huge save in the 58’ minute off of a header from Lindsay Horan. Horan scored both goals in the Thorns victory of Sky Blue in week 8, but Sheridan was ready this time.The Australia native, Kerr, was not done after her assist in the first minute and came out to put on a show in the second half. In the 69th minute Maya Hayes came on for an injured Galton, after she appeared to twist her ankle. Just a minute later the fresh legs of Maya Hayes contributed an assist to Kerr. Hayes headed the ball to an awaiting Kerr just inside Portland’s half. Kerr was already behind Portland’s defense and was one-on-one with an awaiting Franch. Kerr went to her right, took a touch around a diving Franch and buried it near post with her right foot. Perhaps better than the goal itself was Kerr’s acrobatic round-off back handspring goal celebration.

Kerr did it again in the 88th minutes, very much in the same fashion as her first goal of the evening. Fresh legs proved to be big for Sky Blue as Madison Tiernan was subbed on for McKenzie Meehan in the 61st minute. Tiernan sent a long ball over the defense for an awaiting Kerr. Franch came off her line completely and Kerr was all alone inside the box. Again Kerr buried it near post with her right foot.

Leah Galton and Kayla Mills celebrationg for Sky Blue FC l Photo: Sam Ortega/isiphotos.com
Leah Galton and Kayla Mills celebrationg for Sky Blue FC l Photo: Sam Ortega/isiphotos.com

Late opportunity, too late

After Portland not having their way with the referees all night, they were finally given what they wanted in the fleeting seconds of stoppage time. Horan was taken down in the box in the midst of traffic by Kayla Mills. The Thorns were awarded a penalty, but it was too little too late. Christine Sinclair stepped up to take it, and it was initially saved by her fellow Canadian, Sheridan. However Sinclair was able to find the back of the net off the rebound. The game would end 3-1 Sky Blue FC getting three points on the road in Portland snapping the Thorns six game unbeaten streak and eight game home unbeaten streak.

NWSL