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Utah Royals Get Late Goal To Draw With Portland

Utah Royals FC midfielder Gunnhildur Jónsdóttir (66) and Utah Royals FC defender Rachel Corsie (2) celebrate Corsie's goal during a soccer game against the Portland Thorns FC at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy on Friday, July 19, 2019. Final score was 2-2. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SANDY, Utah – Rachel Corsie scored a goal in the 90th minute to give help the Royals to a 2-2 draw against the Portland Thorns.

That goal was critical as the Thorn took the lead just three minutes earlier.

The ball to Corsie was played in the box by Kelley O’Hara on a free kick opportunity.

Excitement surrounded Rio Tinto Stadium and the Utah Royals with all five of their World Cup participants back in action.

The Royals played most of the first half down one goal after allowing a goal in less than 10 minutes.

Christen Press equalized in the 43rd minute with a fantastic strike in her first game back from international duty that fired up 15,931 fans at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Kelley O’Hara and Becky Sauerbrunn both made their first appearance with Press for the Royals after returning from the United States Women’s National Team after winning the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Royals Gain Momentum In First Half

Christine Sinclair found the back of the net in the 9th minute as she fired a shot just outside of the 18-yard box and it soared over Royals goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart.

In the 43rd minute, Christen Press had a fantastic goal. She dribbled the ball through the Thorn defender’s legs and scored far post to level the match.

Shortly after the goal by Portland, Utah had to use an early substitution when midfielder Mandy Laddish was hit in the head by the ball. Katie Stengel came on for her 10 minutes into the match.

Portland controlled the first 30 minutes of the match, spending most of that time on their attacking end of the field. Utah started to shake off the rust with two quality chances on goal.

Press’ goal gave the Royals life and the club started being aggressive and putting the Thorns on their heels.

Action Packed Second Half

In the second half, Utah picked up where they left off. Not a lot going in the first 20 minutes of the half, but in the later stages, the Royals were in attack mode.

But that all went for naught when Portland’s Lindsey Horan scored a goal in the 87th minute to take the lead.

Royals head coach Laura Harvey thought that the second Portland goal was offsides.

Three minutes later, Corsie would tie the match at 2.

Following the equalizer, Utah had three more quality opportunities to score but Portland goalkeeper Adrianna Franch was fantastic and made some great saves.

Up Next

The Royals now have 18 points on the season and still sit in fifth place in the NWSL standings but tied on points with the Washington Spirit.

They will return to Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday, July 27 at 8 p.m. against the North Carolina Courage. The match will be streamed at KSLSports.com or the KSL TV app.