PORTLAND, Ore. – Receiving goals from four different players, Portland Thorns FC tallied three first-half goals, including a pair in a two-minute span, to record a 4-0 win against Utah Royals FC in front of 17,930 at Providence Park on Friday night. Ana Crnogorcevic, Tobin Heath and Lindsey Horan all finished with a goal and an assist, while Tyler Lussi scored her first goal of the season. With her goal, Horan moved into a tie for the NWSL lead with seven goals.
Squaring off for the third time this season, Portland improved to 2-0-1 all-time against Utah, including a mark of 2-0-0 at Providence Park. Thorns FC have outscored Utah 7-1 during that span, recording a pair of shutouts in two home matches. Heath has tallied two goals and two assists against Utah in 2018, while Horan has recorded two goals against Royals FC, including goals in each of the last two home matches against Utah.
Thorns FC firsts
Registering the third goal of the match in the 34th minute, Crnogorcevic tallied her first career goal at Providence Park. Lussi, who entered the match in the 62nd minute, scored just 30 seconds after coming onto the field as she recorded her first goal of the season. Goalkeeper Adrianna Franch posted her first clean sheet of the season, making three saves. Defender Elizabeth Ball made her home debut, entering the match as a late-game substitute.
Horan inserted herself into the 2018 Golden Boot race, tallying her seventh goal of the season, which is tied for the NWSL lead with forward Christine Sinclair and North Carolina Courage midfielder Crystal Dunn. Horan has been lethal at Providence Park in 2018, tallying five of her seven goals this season at home, including goals in three of her last four home matches
Portland opened the scoring in the second minute with defender Midge Purce leading the break. Purce played the ball to Heath running towards the edge of the box. Heath sent a one-touch pass to Crnogorcevic inside the box and she laid it back off for Heath, who chipped Utah goalkeeper Abby Smith for her third goal of the season to give Thorns FC a 1-0 lead.
Heath nearly doubled Thorns FC’s lead in the 25th minute. Picking up a loose ball in Utah’s half of the field, Heath looked up to see Smith off her line and curled a long-distance strike towards the right, top corner that went just over the crossbar.
In the 32nd minute, Portland doubled its lead on a set piece as Horan scored her seventh goal of the season. Heath played a pinpoint ball into the box from the far left wing and Horan directed a header from close range into the left side netting.
Less than two minutes later, Thorns FC added a third goal with Horan creating a turnover and starting the counter-attack. Horan looked to play the ball out wide to Heath on the left, but the pass deflected off a Utah player and landed for Crnogorcevic, who tucked her shot perfectly inside the left post for her first career goal at Providence Park.
Remaining on the front foot to begin the second half, Horan delivered a chipped ball into the box from the left wing. Forward Hayley Raso was able to get a touch flicking the ball back over her head with her back to goal, sending the ball just over the crossbar in the 49th minute.
Franch kept Utah off the board with a leaping save to her left to deny a long-range attempt from Utah midfielder Katrina Gorry in the 57th minute.
Just 30 seconds after entering the match, Lussi slipped in between the Utah backline and Horan played a low, hard pass into the box for Lussi, who hit a well-placed shot around Smith from just inside the box for her first goal of the season in the 62nd minute to extend Portland’s lead to 4-0.
Portland Thorns FC (6-5-5, 23pts) vs. Utah Royals FC (5-4-6, 21pts)
July 6, 2018 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Thorns FC 3 1 4
Utah Royals FC 0 0 0
POR: Heath (Crnogorcevic), 2
POR: Horan (Heath), 32
POR: Crnogorcevic, 34
POR: Lussi (Horan), 62
UTAH: Johnson (caution), 31
UTAH: Matheson (caution), 45
POR: GK Franch, D Carpenter, D Sonnett, D Menges, D Purce (Weber, 46), M Boureille, M Horan, M Sinclair ©, F Heath (Lussi, 62), F Crnogorcevic, F Raso (Ball, 85)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Eckerstrom, D Hubly, M Salem, F Onumonu
TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Heath, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Six players tied, 1); FOULS: 9 (Crnogorcevic, Raso), OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 3
UTAH: GK Smith, D Johnson (Miramontez, 52), D Sauerbrunn ©, D Corsie, D Moros, M Scott, M Jonsdottir, M Gorry (LaBonta, 65), M Matheson, F Rodriguez (Stengel, 75), F Press
Substitutes Not Used: GK Barnhart, M Lytle, M Tymrak, F Ratcliffe
TOTAL SHOTS: 7 (Press, 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Three players tied, 1); FOULS: 11 (Johnson, 4); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 2
Referee: Farhad Dadkho
Assistant Referees: John Krill, Sya Magee
4th Official: Mike Hohnholz
Weather: Sunny, 73 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial