PORTLAND, Ore. – Forwards Christine Sinclair and Sophia Smith each scored first-half goals to lead first-place Portland Thorns FC to a 2-1 victory against NJ/NY Gotham FC in front of 14,299 fans at Providence Park on Wednesday night. 

Smith scored her fifth goal of the regular season – which is tied for the team lead – and Sinclair notched her third goal to help the Thorns (10-3-2, 32pts) become the first team in the NWSL to 10 wins on the campaign. Portland is now unbeaten in its last eight regular-season matches. 

The Thorns’ defense – which leads the league in shutouts – held firm until late, when Gotham FC (5-4-6, 21pts) pulled one back on a header by Carli Lloyd in the 78th minute. Lloyd’s goal is just the third goal allowed by the Portland backline in the last eight league games, and just the second goal conceded at home since June 5. 

The Thorns took control early, and the club’s attack outshot Gotham FC, 15-1, over the first 45 minutes. It was that pressure that led to the club’s two first-half tallies. 

Portland continues to shine at Providence Park in 2021. The club is 6-1-1 at home this season and it’s four goals allowed at home is the fewest in league play in 2021.

The Thorns officially welcomed back their Olympians on Wednesday with a special pre-game ceremony. Sinclair, midfielders Crystal Dunn and Lindsey Horan and defender Becky Sauerbrunn all returned to the Starting XI for Portland against Gotham FC.

Goal-Scoring Plays

28’ (POR) – Smith quickly pressured a Gotham FC defender, stripped the ball and with an open look from the top of the box, beat K. Sheridan inside the right post.

41’ (POR) – Sinclair converts a penalty kick. Smith was taken down in the box on a run played in originally by Sinclair.

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78’ (NJ/NY) – Lloyd was on the receiving end of a cross into the box, and she placed a header just under the reach of Portland goalkeeper Bella Bixby.

Notes:

  • Thorns FC are 10-6-6 all-time against Gotham FC. 
  • Portland is unbeaten against Gotham FC in its last 10 matchups (5-0-5).
  • Thorns FC (10-3-2) are at the top of the NWSL table with 32 points.
  • Portland extended its unbeaten streak to eight games (6-0-2). 
  • Thorns FC are unbeaten in their last six games at Providence Park (5-0-1). 
  • Portland leads the NWSL in goals scored (23) in the 2021 campaign.
  • Thorns FC are tied for the fewest goals allowed in the NWSL (9) with the North Carolina Courage.
  • Sinclair’s goal was the 52nd of her career with Portland.
  • Sinclair has scored five goals and tallied two assists in 16 career regular-season matches against Gotham FC.
  • The penalty-kick goal was the 10th of Sinclair’s NWSL career, tied for second- most in NWSL play. 
  • Portland recorded 15 or more shots for the 13th time in the regular-season.

Portland Thorns FC (10-3-2, 32pts) vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC (5-4-6, 21pts)
August 25, 2021 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)

Scoring Summary:
POR: S. Smith, 29
POR: Sinclair (penalty kick), 41
NJNY: Lloyd (Dydasco), 78

Misconduct Summary:
NJNY: Skroski (caution), 40
POR: Horan (caution), 52

Lineups:
POR: GK Bixby, D Westphal, D Menges, D Sauerbrunn, D Klingenberg (Pogarch, 61), M Rodríguez, M Salem (Moultrie, 67), M Horan, M Dunn (Everett, 61), F Sinclair © (Ryan, 73), F S. Smith (Weaver, 46)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Hogan, D Nally, D Kuikka, D Hubly

TOTAL SHOTS: 20 (Dunn, Smith, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 9 (Smith, 3); FOULS: 17 (Smith, 3); OFFSIDES: 5; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 2

NJNY: GK Sheridan, D Skroski (Dorsey, 46), D Johnson, D Lewandowski, M Dydasco, M Cudjoe, M Long, M Eddy (Kawasumi, 74), M Thiney (Lee, 61), F Lloyd ©, F Onumonu

Substitutes Not Used: GK Haracic, M Pinto, M Zerboni, M Richardson, M Sheehan, F Viens

TOTAL SHOTS: 8 (Lloyd, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Lloyd, 2); FOULS: 14 (Johnson, Thiney, 3); OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 7

Referee: Laura Rodriguez
Assistant Referees: Alicia Messer, CJ Koll
4th Official: Andrew Marihart
Attendance: 14,299
Weather: Partly cloudy, 73 degrees

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial

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