Sophia Smith scores games-winning goal in first minute back with Portland Thorns

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Sophia Smith wasted little time in her return from the Women’s World Cup, scoring the go-ahead goal one minute after taking the pitch as a second-half substitute in Portland’s 2-1 victory over North Carolina on Sunday in Portland, Oregon.

The win lifted Portland (8-4-4) over North Carolina (8-6-2) in the league standings, with 28 points to 26 points for the Courage, and capped the league’s weekend return to action after breaking for the Women’s World Cup.

Smith, a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team and reigning NWSL MVP, chased down a pass from Morgan Weaver and converted from short range in the 69th minute.

The Thorns were a player down for most of the match after Kelli Hubly was shown the red card in the 17th minute. North Carolina took advantage when Tyler Lussi converted the free kick. The goal was allowed following a VAR review.

Portland tied the score in the 41st minute when Hannah Betfort right-footed a shot from the right side of the six-yard box to the bottom left corner. Olivia Moultrie got the assist.

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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Sophia Smith

Portland Thorns FC


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