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Utah Royals FC, Washington Spirit fight to 0-0 draw

Utah Royals FC Vero Boquete (21) dribbles the ball against the Washington Spirit at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy on Saturday, April 20, 2019.
Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Less than two minutes into Utah Royals FC’s road contest Wednesday night against the Washington Spirit, a horn began to blare indicating the game would be stopped because of lightning

That wound up being arguably the most eventful moment of the night, as the two sides played to a 0-0 draw, with neither side getting a whole lot of dangerous chances.

The draw snapped URFC’s three-game win streak, and a streak of that same length in which it scored at least two goals in each contest. A victory would have given the club sole possession of second place in the National Women’s Soccer League table after it was in seventh just a few weeks ago.

As it is, URFC moved into a tie for third with the defending NWSL champion North Carolina Courage.

Following the delay, which lasted nearly an hour and 45 minutes, the Spirit, which has only won one game since defeating URFC on June 1, came out and pressed the road side, preventing URFC from getting into its attack much at all.

Washington wound up with a whopping 18 total shots, although only two of them were on goal. URFC finished with seven total shots on the night, and also had two on goal.

Despite the fact that the Spirit controlled possession for most of the game, the best scoring chance for either side came in the 78th minute as URFC’s Amy Rodriguez went 1-v-1 with Washington star goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe, but Rodriguez’s shot just went over the goal.

Following a wild stretch that has seen URFC play five games in just 18 days, it will now have a long break, as it won’t play again until Sept. 6 when Portland Thorns FC, which sits atop the NWSL table, visits Rio Tinto Stadium.

That contest will mark the first home game for URFC in almost exactly a month, as it last played there against Sky Blue FC on Aug. 7.

URFC and PTFC have played to two draws on the season thus far.