SD Wave come back to finish in 2-2 draw against Portland Thorns


Credit: SD Wave

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Credit: SD Wave

Taylor Kornieck’s heroic brace earns a draw in the dying minutes against Portland Thorns.

San Diego Wave FC (4-2-2 – 14 points) tied the Portland Thorns FC (2-4-1 – 10 points) 2-2 in a match for the ages on Wednesday, June 8th.

This highly anticipated match was already the third meeting between the two sides this year, with the first matchup taking place on March 26 during the Challenge Cup. Both of the previous meetings between the two sides ended with the Thorns eking out a narrow win by one point.

Today, San Diego looked to break their two-game losing streak against Portland, and that’s precisely what they did. However, not with a win, but with a heroic two-goal comeback to earn a tie thanks to heroics from Taylor Kornieck —  who was recently called up to the USWNT camp, according to head coach Casey Stoney.

“On a different day we could’ve took all three points,” Stoney said regarding the performance. “But Portland is an excellent team so to come here and perform the way we did, I’m really really proud of this team.”

San Diego opened the game on the front foot.

The front three of Sofia Jakobsson, Kelsey Turnbow, and Alex Morgan always looked a threat going forward. San Diego did a solid job of maintaining possession — having 61% possession throughout the match.

Credit: SD Wave

Despite’ San Diego’s dominating play, Portland was the one to open the scoring via a penalty. Portland’s Raquel Rodriguez broke into the San Diego box and was brought down by Kristen McNabb. Just like she did in the two sides’ previous meeting, Sophia Smith opened up the scoring, but this time from the penalty spot.

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Following the opening goal, San Diego attacked relentlessly and, unfortunately, would see two of their shots come off the post before the first half ended. The first looked as if it crossed the line, but the goal wasn’t given, leading to jeers from fans all around the stadium towards the referee. The second shot was an Emily Van Egmond rocket from nearly 35-yards out that cannoned off the post, then off the keeper’s head, and out of play.

In regards to the disallowed goal, Stoney promptly said after the match, “From every angle, it’s a goal.”

The misfortune didn’t end there for San Diego. Less than a minute after the second-half kickoff and Portland had their second through Christine Sinclair, who’s made her 150th NWSL appearance today.

Three minutes after Portland’s second, San Diego thought they had cut the deficit in half through Sofia Jakobsson. However, the referee denied them again, this time the goal being ruled offsides.

The Wave wouldn’t let the refereeing or any other factor prevent them from playing passionate soccer. After a scramble in the box with 10 minutes to go, Kornieck eventually blasted the ball into the back of the net, giving San Diego a lifeline.

Eight minutes later, the unthinkable happened. Christen Westphal brilliantly keep possession on the flank. She then whipped in a wonderful cross that hung in the air for what must’ve felt like hours. The ball eventually landed on the head of Kornieck, who lofted her header beautifully into the back of the net.

A heroic performance by San Diego’s No. 22 to bring this game back into contention.

“We kept pushing and pushing and never let up and that’s what got us here.” Kornieck said following her heroic performance.

Following the match, Stoney made sure to also credit the incredible San Diego crowd for inspiring the comeback.

“We’re a different team at home and it’s because of the thousands of people that get behind these players,” Stoney said. “They give us the extra energy, the extra motivation, they’re unbelievable.” 

Next, San Diego Wave FC will face OL Reign in another Challenge Cup rematch. The game will take place at Torero Stadium on Sunday, June 12, at 2:00 pm.

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