It was a night to remember for the NWSL Championship. With it’s first prime time slot at 8pm, the Portland Thorns came out victorious in a 2-0 score over the Kansas City Current under the lights of Audi Field. Over 17,600 fans were there to cheer on the players in Washington D.C.
First half, early goal
The Portland Thorns would get on the board first, with Sophia Smith inevitably scoring the opening goal within the first five minutes. A mistake in the back by Kansas City Current allowed Smith to get on the end of the ball, dribble around Current keeper AD Franch and slot the ball into the back of the net.
.@sophsssmith puts @ThornsFC up EARLY early #NWSLChampionship | #BAONPDX pic.twitter.com/AJsIsB9r5S— National Women’s Soccer League (@NWSL) October 30, 2022
The Thorns continued to be an attacking threat for much of the first half, with multiple shots and a slew of chances. Franch’s steady goalkeeping and smart defending from the Current kept the damage limited.
Undeterred, Kansas City created their fair share of opportunities, getting into Portland’s half and trying to secure the equalizer before the first half. In the 35th minute, the Current created their best chance of the half with a header from Kate Del Fava sailing just over the goal. A stalwart Portland defense backed by Bella Bixby in net ensured a clean sheet going into the locker room at halftime.
Second half, all Thorns
In the 56th minute the Thorns would strike again, making it 2-0. A well-served ball into the box with Smith as the intended target caused a scramble in the back for the Current defense, resulting an own-goal attributed to Addisyn Merrick.
That's ✌️ for @ThornsFC as a loose ball in front of goal finds its way in! #NWSLChampionship | #BAONPDX pic.twitter.com/FnBEATRFDg— National Women’s Soccer League (@NWSL) October 30, 2022
The Thorns would continue a relentless attack for much of the second half, with occasional bright spots for the Current. However, the Kansas City squad just couldn’t seem to get past Portland.
The Thorns would see out the game, securing a clean sheet and their third NWSL Championship.