BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Playing the first of back-to-back road games, Portland Thorns FC extended their unbeaten streak to eight games – capturing at least one point for the fifth straight time in a road match this season – in a 1-1 draw against the Chicago Red Stars in front of 3,131 fans at Toyota Park on Sunday evening.
Including Sunday’s match, Thorns FC (3-0-5, 14pts) have played five of their first eight matches on the road, posting a pair of shutouts in those road matches, while not conceding more than a single goal in a match. In addition, the club’s unbeaten stretch of eight games is currently tied for the fourth-longest unbeaten streak in NWSL history.
Putting pressure on the Chicago defense early in the match, forward Christine Sinclair continued her run into the box on a back pass by a Chicago defender, blocking the attempted clearance by goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher into the back of the net to give Portland a 1-0 lead in the 25th minute. The goal was Sinclair’s first of the season and her fifth all-time against the Red Stars.
Sinclair nearly opened the scoring in the 16th minute of the match. Forward Nadia Nadim delivered a low, hard cross into the box for Sinclair making a run towards goal. Sinclair met the pass with a sliding shot, but Naeher was able to get a touch and push the ball just wide of the post.
Thorns FC nearly doubled their lead in the 36th minute. Midfielder Tobin Heath split two defenders with a well-placed cross into the box. Midfielder Dagny Brynjarsdottir connected with a header from close range that sailed just inches over the crossbar.
Goalkeeper Adrianna Franch did well to deny Chicago (4-1-3, 15pts) midfielder Amanda Da Costa’s bicycle-kick attempt off a corner kick with an acrobatic save in 32nd minute, while Franch was able to get a hand to forward Christen Press’ long-range shot in the 62nd minute the ball spun backwards and bounced over the goal line to level the score.
Defensively, Portland allowed just one shot on goal in the match, marking the fourth straight match Thorns FC have surrendered four or fewer shots on goal. In addition, Portland has limited four straight opponents to single-digit shot attempts in a match.
Thorns FC will travel to square off against the Western New York Flash on Friday, June 17, at Rhinos Stadium in Rochester, N.Y., before returning to the Rose City for a midweek match on June 22 against Chicago and will then travel to Orlando for a match against the Pride on June 26 to complete a stretch of seven road games in their first 11 matches this season.
Portland’s match against the Flash kicks off at 4 p.m. (Pacific) with a live web stream at www.thornsfc.com.
- Forward Christine Sinclair tallied her fifth career goal all-time against Chicago in the match. Sinclair has scored in each of Portland’s last two road matches against the Red Stars.
- With her goal, Sinclair is now tied for second all-time in career points for Thorns FC (41pts) and is the third player to reach 40 career points for Portland.
- Sinclair’s 25th minute goal was her first of the season and the 18th of her career for Portland.
- Portland improved to 3-1-6 in the all-time series against Chicago, including a mark of 2-0-4 in road matches.
- Thorns FC unbeaten stretch of eight games is tied for the fourth longest unbeaten streak in NWSL history. Seattle posted two unbeaten stretches of eight games during the 2015 season.
- Defender Emily Menges made her 47th career start for Portland in the match, moving into third-place all-time in career starts for Thorns FC.
- Midfielder Tobin Heath started and played in her 30th career match for Thorns FC becoming the 10th player in club history to start and appear in at least 30 matches.
- Six of the last seven matches between Thorns FC and the Red Stars have finished in a draw, including the last four matches on Chicago’s home field.
- Portland has surrendered four or less shots on goal to four straight opponents and two or less shots on goal in three of its last four matches.
- Thorns FC have limited four straight opponents to single-digit shot attempts in a match.
Portland Thorns FC (3-0-5, 14pts) at Chicago Red Stars (4-1-3, 15pts)
June 12, 2016 – Toyota Park (Bridgeview, Ill.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Thorns FC 1 0 1
Chicago Red Stars 0 1 1
POR: Sinclair, 25
CHI: Press (Mautz), 62
CHI: Mautz (Caution), 75
CHI: Huerta (Caution), 75
CHI: Gilliland (Caution), 85
POR: Nadim (Caution), 88
Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Franch, D Reynolds, D Sonnett, D Menges, D Klingenberg, M Horan, M Long, M Heath, M Brynjarsdottir (Morris, 59), F Nadim (Raso, 90), F Sinclair ©
Substitutes Not Used: GK Betos, D Berryhill, F Weber, M Boureille
TOTAL SHOTS: 6 (Heath, Sinclair, 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Sinclair, 2); FOULS: 12 (Nadim, 3); OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 0
CHI: GK Naeher, D Gilliland, D Short, D Johnston, D Johnson, M DiBernardo, M Da Costa (Comeau, 68), M Colaprico, F Hoy (Mautz, 46), F Huerta (Walls, 84), F Press
Substitutes Not Used: GK Dalton, D Naughton, M Raetzman, M Luba
TOTAL SHOTS: 5 (Press, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 1 (Press, 1); FOULS: 11 (Mautz, 4); OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 3
Referee: Levi Rippy
Assistant Referees: Joshua Haimes, Christopher Elliot
4th Official: Margaret Domka
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 70 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial.