HOUSTON – Portland Thorns FC rallied back from a deficit by scoring a pair of unanswered goals over a five-minute span in the second half to secure a 2-1 win on the road against the Houston Dash at BBVA Stadium on Saturday night. Midge Purce scored her fifth goal of the season, while Tyler Lussi tallied her first goal of 2019 and also added the assist on Purce’s game-winner.
With the win, Thorns FC (5-1-4, 19pts) improved to 4-1-3 on the road this season. Portland has scored in all of its road matches in 2019, tallying 16 goals in eight away games. Dating back to the 2018 season, Portland has suffered just one loss in its last 10 road games (6-1-3).
Portland extended its unbeaten streak to five games (3-0-2). During that span, Thorns FC have conceded just two goals, outscoring their opponents 7-2. Notably, Portland has posted a record of 2-0-1 in three road games during its unbeaten stretch.
Ellie Carpenter made her first appearance for Thorns FC since returning from the FIFA Women’s World Cup, logging 45 minutes and recording her first assist of the 2019 season. Lussi entered the match in the 63rd minute and added her first goal of 2019 just over six minutes later before setting up Purce with her first assist of the campaign in the 75th minute.
Purce tallied her fifth goal of the season – her third game-winner of 2019 – in the match. Her five goals are tied for second-most in the NWSL this season. Additionally, Purce has scored three of her five goals on the road, tallying a goal in three consecutive road matches.
Starting the game on the front foot, Andressinha picked out Purce near the left post with a pinpoint cross from the right wing. Purce settled the ball but her close-range shot was blocked.
Portland had another scoring chance in the 27th minute after Simone Charley earned a free kick just outside the box on the left wing. Andressinha lined up the kick and served a ball into the center of the box, but Purce’s header went just over the crossbar.
Looking to grab the lead early in the second half, Purce was sprung free on the counter-attack down the right side of the field in the 47th minute. She dribbled into the box and fired a shot from near the right post that skipped just wide of the far post.
Houston claimed a 1-0 lead in the 51st minute on a free kick. Christine Nairn served the ball from long range in the middle of the field to the edge of the goal line and Kyah Simon converted.
Thorns FC leveled the match in the 70th minute as Lussi tallied her first goal of the season. Working the ball down the right side of the field, Carpenter played a quick pass to Lussi just outside the box and she unleashed a left-footed shot past a diving Jane Campbell inside the right post.
Portland then claimed a 2-1 lead in the 75th minute. Elizabeth Ball played a free kick short to Dagny Brynjarsdottir, who lofted a ball into the box for Purce and Lussi making a run toward the goal. The ball deflected off a Houston player and landed for Lussi, who slotted a pass off to Purce for the finish.
Thorns FC return to Providence Park to play host to Reign FC on Friday, July 5. Beginning at 8 p.m. (Pacific), the match will be broadcast on Yahoo! Sports.
- Thorns FC are unbeaten in their last five matches (3-0-2), outscoring opponents 7-2 during that span.
- Portland improved to 4-1-3 this season in road matches, recording 16 goals in eight games.
- Dating back to the 2018 season, Thorns FC have earned at least one point in nine of their last 10 road matches.
- Midge Purce tallied her fifth goal of the season. Her five goals is tied for second most in the NWSL.
- Purce has scored recorded a goal in three consecutive road games.
- Tyler Lussi scored her first goal of the season and also added her first assist of 2019.
- Lussi is the 10th player to score a goal for Portland this season.
- Ellie Carpenter recorded her first assist of the campaign in the match.
- Lussi and Carpenter became the eighth and ninth player to record an assist for Thorns FC in 2019.
- Katherine Reynolds reached 10,000 career NWSL minutes played in the match. She is the ninth player in league history to reach this milestone.
- Andressinha made her first appearance for Thorns FC since returning from the World Cup, logging 79 minutes.
- Ellie Carpenter made her first appearance since returning from the World Cup, logging 45 minutes as a substitute.
- Portland is unbeaten in its last eight matches (6-0-2) against the Dash and have scored multiple goals in six of those eight matches.
- Thorns FC improved to 9-2-3 all-time against Houston, including a mark of 4-1-3 on the road.
Portland Thorns FC (5-1-4, 19pts) vs. Houston Dash (3-3-4, 13pts)
June 29, 2019 – BBVA Stadium (Houston, Texas)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Thorns FC 0 2 2
Houston Dash 0 1 1
HOU: Simon (Nairn), 51
POR: Lussi (Carpenter), 70
POR: Purce (Lussi), 75
POR: Ball (caution), 60
POR: Murray (caution), 75
POR: GK Eckerstrom, D Hubly, D Ball, D Reynolds, D Menges © (Carpenter, 46), D Klingenberg, M Seiler, M Brynjarsdottir, M Andressinha (Boureille, 79), F Purce, F Charley (Lussi, 63)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Bixby, D Pogarch, M Ogle, F Crnogorcevic
TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Purce, 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Purce, 2); FOULS: 7 (Three players tied, 2), OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 3
HOU: GK Campbell, D Murray, D Brooks, D Prisock, D Romero (Calderón, 86), M Mewis, M Nairn, M Fields (Simon, 38), M Hanson, M Huerta, F Ohai
Substitutes Not Used: GK Henninger, D Jackmon, M Brandon, F Kizer, F Baucom
TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Ohai, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Ohai, 2); FOULS: 11 (Murray, Romero, 3), OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 3
Referee: Michael Radchuk
Assistant Referees: Deleana Quan, Jennifer Garner
4th Official: Estefania Estrada
Weather: Partly cloudy, 73 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial