NWSL MATCH RECAP | Portland Thorns FC 3, Washington Spirit 1

PORTLAND, Ore. – Receiving goals from three different players, Portland Thorns FC recorded a 3-1 win over the Washington Spirit in front of 20,895 fans at Providence Park on Saturday night. Hayley Raso and Emily Sonnett both tallied goals in the opening 20 minutes of the match, while Christine Sinclair notched her team-leading eighth goal of the season in the second half to help Portland secure the win.

With goals from Raso, Sonnett and Sinclair, Thorns FC increased their season total to 36 goals scored. Portland has scored 35 or more goals in each of the last four seasons. Raso tallied her fourth goal of the season, with all four coming at Providence Park. Sinclair scored her eighth goal of the season, which is tied for the second-most in the NWSL this season. Sonnett registered her second goal of the 2019 campaign. She is the seventh player to tally multiple goals for Thorns FC in 2019.

Against Washington
Saturday’s match marked the 18th meeting all-time between Portland and Washington in the regular season. Thorns FC improved to 10-3-5 all-time against Washington. The team’s 10 wins against the Spirit is tied for the most against a single opponent, with Portland also remaining unbeaten in nine matches at Providence Park against Washington, posting a record of 6-0-3.

Key plays
Portland took a 1-0 lead in the fifth minute. Sinclair received the ball in space making a run down the left side of the field. She played a crossed to the center of the box for Dagny Brynjarsdottir, but Washington cleared the ball to the edge of the box. Raso pounced on the loose ball, sending a curling strike into the left corner of the goal.

In the 19th minute, Heath dribbled up field and played a perfectly weighted through ball in behind the Spirit’s backline for Raso running down the right side. Raso dribbled into the box and fired a shot from a tight angle near the right post, forcing a save by Washington goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe.

On the corner kick that followed, Heath served the ball to the near post for Sonnett, who converted from close range at the right post to put Thorns FC ahead 2-0 in the 19th minute.

Portland created another chance off a set piece in the 22nd minute. Heath played a corner kick short to Raso inside the box and she fired a low, hard shot that was saved by Bledsoe.

Thorns FC came close to scoring a third goal in the 59th minute on a set piece. Heath played a low, driven ball into the box for Sonnett flashing across the box toward the left post. Sonnett got a touch and attempted to fire a shot from close range, but Washington’s Andi Sullivan tracked back to make the block.

Portland increased its lead to 3-0 in the 63rd minute on a corner kick. Heath delivered a ball to the center of the box. Lindsey Horan got the initial touch with a header that was deflected by a Spirit defender near the goal line. The ball bounced to Sinclair, who calmly chipped the shot into the back of the net.

Sullivan added a goal for Washington in the 68th minute, unleashing a long-range strike into the top right corner of the goal to make it a 3-1 match.

Next match
Concluding at three-game homestand, Thorns FC play host to the Chicago Red Stars on Sunday, Aug. 25, at  Providence Park. Beginning at 12 noon (Pacific), the match features a national television broadcast on ESPNEWS.

Portland Thorns FC (9-3-6, 33pts) vs. Washington Spirit (6-7-3, 21pts)
Aug. 17, 2019 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)

Goals by Half                              1          2          F
Portland Thorns FC                      2          1          3
Washington Spirit                        0          1          1 

Scoring Summary:
POR: Raso, 5
POR: Sonnett (Heath), 19
POR: Sinclair, 63
WSH: Sullivan (Lavelle), 68 

Misconduct Summary:
WSH: Kellond-Knight (caution), 58

POR: GK Franch, D Carpenter (Reynolds, 61), D Sonnett, D Menges, D Klingenberg, M Brynjarsdottir (Ball, 83), M Horan, M Sinclair ©, F Raso, F Purce (Foord, 71), F Heath

Substitutes Not Used: GK Eckerstrom, M Ogle, F Crnogorcevic, F Charley 

TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Horan, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Raso, 3); FOULS: 8 (Carpenter, Raso, 2); OFFSIDES: 5; CORNER KICKS: 6; SAVES: 4

WSH: GK Bledsoe, D Huster, D Nielsen, D Staab, D Kellond-Knight (Bailey, 64), M Lavelle, M Dougherty-Howard (Logarzo, 63), M DiBiasi, M Sullivan ©, F Hatch, F Thomas

Substitutes Not Used: GK Yanez, D Crosson, D Harrison, F Ship, F Farquharson

TOTAL SHOTS: 15 (Sullivan, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Lavelle, Sullivan, 2); FOULS: 12 (Four players tied, 2); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 3

Referee: Michael Radchuk
Assistant Referees: Melissa Gonzalez, Deleana Quan
4th Official: Hunter France
Attendance: 20,895
Weather: Cloudy, 69 degrees 

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial