NWSL Challenge Cup: Cascadia win sends Thorns into final with game to spare

The Portland Thorns clinched a place in the NWSL Challenge Cup championship game with a 2-0 win over Cascadia rival OL Reign, its third victory in three games.

The game marked the first NWSL game of the season for U.S. national team regulars Becky Sauerbrunn, Lindsey Horan, Sophia Smith and Crystal Dunn, in her Portland debut. For OL Reign, Megan Rapinoe came on as a sub, playing her first game since the OL Groupe bought the Tacoma-based team in late 2019.

Horan opened the scoring in the 17th minute, and Simone Charley added the second goal shortly after halftime.

Portland, which still has one first-round game to play against Houston, leads the West Division with nine points. No other team has won a game. The three West Division matches not involving the Thorns ended in ties. Gotham FC leads the East Division with six points (two wins in two games).

Divisional play continues April 26-27 and May 1-2. The championship game will be played May 8 at a site to be determined.

Wednesday, April 21
Orlando 1 Washington 0. (Goal: Leroux 11.)
Chicago 1 Kansas City 1. (Goals: Johnson 82; Rodriguez 80.)
Portland 2 OL Reign 0. (Goals: Horan 17, Charley 46.)

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