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All Even Between WNY Flash and Portland
By News 8
After a 43-minute weather delay just seven minutes into the contest, the Western New York Flash and Portland Thorns FC played to a 1-1 match in front of 3,674 fans at Sahlen’s Stadium. The Flash move to 1-1-1 (4 points) on the year, while Portland remains undefeated at 2-0-2 (7 points).
Sonia Bermudez became the second Flash Spaniard to start her NWSL career with a bang when she put the Flash ahead 1-0 in the 39th minute. After former FC Barcelona teammate Vicky Losada posted five points in her debut on April 13, Sonia perfectly placed a 25-yard centered set piece into the upper 90, beating the outstretched arms of Angerer.
It didn’t take long for the Thorns to equalize, however, when Jessica McDonald found herself on the fortunate end of a Lydia Williams bobbled save. Former Flash midfielder Sarah Huffman sent a cross into the penalty area and, though Williams got her hands on the ball, it fell to the feet of McDonald who was waiting inches away.
After a first half that was dominated by the home team, the Thorns had two big chances late in the second half, but the Flash defense stood tall to preserve the one point.
Chasing down a long service, McDonald was able to thread a pass through the legs of defender Kristen Edmonds and found Mana Shim running alone through the box. From 10-yards out, Shim unleashed but Williams came up with a big save in the 79th minute.
Then, in the final seconds of the game, Shim had another look at Williams but her last ditch effort was blocked by former Thorn Courtney Wetzel. Wetzel entered the game as a second-half substitute.
The Flash came out of the first-half rain delay with a chance when Reynolds found Kerr streaking down the right side open. The Australian crossed the ball towards Bermudez, but her volley attempt went wide.
2013 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Nadine Angerer denied Abby Wambach in the 29th minute, and had a little help from the post to keep the ball out. The forward was able to get a left-footed strike off from the top of the penalty area and, after Angerer deflected the ball, the left post kept it a 0-0 game. Saturday’s game marked Wambach’s first of 2014 as she sat out the first two road matches with a fractured left orbital bone.
The Flash ended the first half with two chances, starting with a solo effort from Kerr, who carried the ball down the field and beat two defenders. However, Thorns defender Emily Menges ended the opportunity with a last second block of the attempt.
Minutes later, Kerr sent a ball to the far post towards an unguarded Wambach but she slipped on the rain-soaked turf before connecting on the header.
Both teams totaled eight shots during the game, with the Flash posting six in the first 45.
Western New York will remain at home for its next two contests, next facing FC Kansas City at 7 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon.
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