NWSL MATCH RECAP | Portland Thorns FC 3, FC Kansas City 1

PORTLAND, Ore. – Forward Jessica McDonald recorded a brace, midfielder Allie Long scored a goal in a third consecutive match and goalkeeper Nadine Angerer made six saves as Portland Thorns FC earned a 3-1 win against FC Kansas City in Portland’s regular-season home opener before 14,124 fans at Providence Park on Saturday night.

McDonald’s two-goal performance, the second of her National Women’s Soccer League career, came in the final six minutes of the match as Portland pushed numbers forward looking for the go-ahead goal. Tied at 1-1 in the 84th minute, McDonald slotted a shot past FC Kansas City goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart from close range following a nice passing sequence between Long and substitute midfielder/defender Sarah Huffman.

Second-half substitute midfielder Meleana Shim factored in on the next goal just four minutes later when she played a long pass down the left channel into space for McDonald. The forward was then able to run onto the ball and lob a shot over the oncoming goalkeeper with the outside of her right foot for her second goal of the match. McDonald, who became just the second Thorns FC player all-time to register a brace, finished with a game-high four shots on goal. In addition, McDonald becomes just the second player to tally four points in a single match for Portland.

Playing its first home match since Aug. 4, 2013 – a span of 265 days – Portland came out attacking from the opening whistle, pressing the FC Kansas City defense, and was unlucky not to score a goal as Long and forward Christine Sinclair each missed chances in the opening 20 minutes.

Shortly before halftime, Long staked Thorns FC to the lead as she outmaneuvered a defender down the right flank and into the penalty box where she was cut down by defender Becky Sauerbrunn and awarded a penalty kick in the 44th minute. The goal, Long’s third tally in three consecutive matches, saw the midfielder tie her NWSL career high in goals set during the inaugural season in 2013.

Delivering seven shots on goals during the match, FC Kansas City notched the equalizer on a penalty kick in the 56th minute as midfielder Erika Tymrak was tripped up on the left edge of the penalty box early in the second half. Forward Lauren Holiday, the 2013 NWSL Most Valuable Player, stepped up to take the spot kick and fired a strong shot past Angerer to the goalkeeper’s right side, knotting the score, 1-1.

Just minutes prior to McDonald’s go-ahead tally for Thorns FC, Angerer made a leaping save to guide a shot from FC Kansas City midfielder Jenna Richmond safely over the crossbar. The save, one of a season-high six on the night for the German international, helped keep the match level and ignited a late push from Thorns FC. Angerer made diving stops on forward Amy Rodriguez and midfielder Jen Buczkowski in the first half as both teams earned good scoring opportunities as the match started to open up.

FC Kansas City’s Barnhart made six saves and the two teams finished level on shots, 16-16, while Portland earned the advantage in shots on goal, 10-7. Portland’s 10 shots on goal tied for the second-most in a regular-season match by the club all-time.

Thorns FC take to the road for their next match, squaring off against the Western New York Flash in a rematch of the 2013 NWSL Championship Game on Saturday, May 3, at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, N.Y. The match is scheduled to kick off at 4 p.m. (Pacific) and will be available via a live webstream at www.portlandthornsfc.com.

Portland Thorns FC (2-0-1, 7pts) vs. FC Kansas City (0-2-1, 1pt)
April 26, 2014 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)

Goals by Half                            1          2          F
FC Kansas City                        0          1          1
Portland Thorns FC                 1          2          3

Scoring Summary
POR: Long (penalty kick), 44
KC: Holiday (penalty kick), 56
POR: McDonald (Long), 84
POR: McDonald (Shim), 88

Misconduct Summary
KC: Mathias (Caution), 63

Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Nadine Angerer, D Courtney Niemiec, D Nikki Marshall, D Emily Menges, D Rebecca Moros (Sarah Huffman, 80), M Sinead Farrelly, M Amber Brooks (Kat Tarr, 83), M Angie Kerr (Mana Shim, 71), M Allie Long, F Christine Sinclair ©, F Jessica McDonald

Substitutes Not Used: GK Michelle Betos, F Jackie Acevedo, F Elisabeth Sullivan

TOTAL SHOTS: 16 (McDonald, Sinclair, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 10 (McDonald, 4); FOULS: 12 (Farrelly, 4); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 6

KC: GK Nicole Barnhart, D Leigh Ann Robinson, D Kassey Kallman, D Becky Sauerbrunn, D Nikki Phillips (Morgan Marlborough, 89), M Jen Buczkowski, M Jenna Richmond, M Erika Tymrak, M Merritt Mathias (Frances Silva, 78), F Lauren Holiday, F Amy Rodriguez

Substitutes Not Used: GK Sara Keane, D Nia Williams, M Maegan Kelly, F Liz Bogus, F Melissa Henderson

TOTAL SHOTS: 16 (Holiday, 7); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Holiday, 3); FOULS: 14 (Buczkowski, 5); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 11; SAVES: 6

Referee: Katja Koroleva
Assistant Referees: Veronica Perez, Ronald Lagraff
Fourth Official: Farhad Dadkho
Attendance: 14,124
Weather: Rain, 52 degrees

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial