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Simone Charley dazzles in Thorns’ win over Kansas City


Portland defeated Kansas City 1-0 on Sunday to move atop the NWSL standings.

The Thorns started strong, applying consistent pressure to Kansas City’s back line. Portland had several quality chances on goal in the game’s opening minutes, the best opportunity coming in the 12th minute off a Christine Sinclair penalty kick. Abby Smith, however, denied Sinclair’s attempt from the line.

Smith came up clutch for her team in the first half, batting away several solid shots on goal, including a couple from Simone Charley.

After knocking on the door for much of the opening half, Charley finally broke through just before the break. The Thorns’ striker got on the end of a looping ball from Crystal Dunn, beating her defender and blowing past Smith to put away the game’s lone goal.

With neither side able to convert on opportunities in the second half, the score stayed at 1-0 until the final whistle.

The Thorns have now won three games in a row and will hope to make it four when they face the Courage on Saturday. Kansas City will look to snap their four-game losing streak when they face the Pride on Wednesday.