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Controversy and chaos: San Diego Wave 2, Portland Thorns 2

Peak NWSL After Dark as San Diego overcome controversial calls to find result

NWSL: Portland Thorns FC at San Diego Wave FC Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports

With a rough end to their road trip still fresh in their minds, San Diego Wave came into this one looking to get back in the win column. Back at home in front of supporters, Wave FC were after not just the three points, but were looking to keep their place at the top of league standings. With so many teams in the mix early in the season, a loss meant losing the top spot as well as the match at home. In the end, despite some controversial calls, San Diego Wave were able to fight until the end, and come up with crucial late goals to end the match in a 2-2 draw to split the points.

If I had told you the team with the lead heading into the halftime break did so by converting a penalty, I'm sure we all would have thought it to be Wave FC with the penalty and lead. However, it was the Portland Thorns who were awarded a penalty in the 20th minute. Young star Sophia Smith stepped up to the spot, and slammed it home for the early lead.

The first half didn't end without a bit of controversy. Sofia Jakobsson put on a great shot on goal, that as tipped by Thorns’ keeper, but appeared to still find its way — barely — into the back of the net. Or, at the very least, appeared to be over the line. Instead, the referee decided it wasn't a goal, and Wave went into the break down by one goal.

Despite being down, San Diego finished the half strong and looked ready to find an equalizer in the second half. Unfortunately, Portland saw that as well, and they beat the home side to the punch. Christine Sinclair added another goal to her ever-growing tally, doubling the lead for her side in just the 47th minute of the match.

Just when it looked like the Thorns were going to come into San Diego and walk away with a relatively, albeit extremely controversial, win on the road, Wave woke up late in the match. In the 80th minute, Taylor Kornieck found the ball at her feet after a corner kick into the box that bounced around a bit. Taylor smashed it top shelf and past the keeper, with no offsides or phantom calls to ruin this moment. It was game on with just minutes left in the match.

Kornieck wasn't done though. Just as the match was coming to a close, Taylor was on the receiving end of a great ball into the box, and used all of her 6’1” frame to get her head on it with enough power to get past the keeper and grab the result for the home side.

The goal was enough to secure a point at home. While the team will undoubtedly be disappointed they didn't get a win, they have nothing to hang heads over as they showed their gritty mentality and fighting spirit in this one. Never giving up, and overcoming adversity to ensure they stay atop the NWSL for another week. No rest in this league though, as Wahvey take the pitch in just a few days, when they host OL Reign Sunday June 12th. It may have been a draw in the end, but this was one of those matches where you leave feeling really good about San Diego. This is a team not only physically tough, as well as talented, but they are mentally tough as well. They have the mentality of champions, and it was on full display this evening.

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