LISLE, Ill. – Portland Thorns FC remained unbeaten through their first three matches of the NWSL season, earning a come-from-behind, 2-2 draw against the Chicago Red Stars in front of 2,136 fans on Saturday night at Village of Lisle-Benedictine University Sports Complex in Lisle, Ill.
Despite surrendering a pair of goals in the opening eight minutes to forward Christen Press, Portland (2-0-1, 7pts) battled back to secure a point on the road as midfielder Mana Shim tallied the equalizer in the 47th minute of the match. After midfielder Allie Long’s initial attempt was blocked, Shim settled the loose ball at the edge of the box and tucked a left-footed shot inside the right post for her second goal of the season.
Thorns FC and Chicago (1-0-1, 4pts) have now played to five consecutive draws, dating back to 2013 season. Portland improved to 2-1-5 all-time against the Red Stars and is unbeaten (2-0-3) in five road matches against Chicago.
Trailing 2-0 early in the match, Thorns FC had consecutive chances cleared off the goal line in the 11th minute. Red Stars goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc made a kick save on midfielder Taylor Comeau’s point-blank attempt, while Shim’s attempt on the rebound from close range was headed away at the goal line by Chicago defender Julie Johnston.
Making her first start of the 2015 campaign, forward Christine Sinclair cut Portland’s deficit in half with a goal in the 29th minute. Long picked out Sinclair inside the box and she slid a well-placed shot through the defense and into the bottom left corner for her first goal of the season. The goal was the 16th of her Thorns FC career, moving into sole possession of first-place on Portland’s all-time goal scoring list.
Searching for the game winner late in the match, midfielder Sinead Farrelly’s shot from distance hit off the underside of the crossbar in the 74th minute, while goalkeeper Nadine Angerer made a key stop in the 83rd minute, batting away a dangerous free kick into the box by Chicago midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo.
Thorns FC return to the Rose City and will continue training next week in preparation for their match against the Washington Spirit on May 9 at Providence Park; kickoff is set for 7 p.m. (Pacific). The match will be broadcast live via web stream at www.portlandthornsfc.com.
- Portland and Chicago have played to five consecutive draws, including three consecutive draws at Village of Lisle-Benedictine University Sports Complex.
- Thorns FC are 2-1-5 all-time against Chicago and 2-0-3 in road matches.
- Midfielder Allie Long made her 47th career appearance for Portland on Saturday, moving into sole possession of first place on the Thorns FC all-time career appearance list. Long also became the first Portland player to surpass 4,000 career minutes on Saturday.
- Defender Emily Menges made her 11th consecutive start, dating back to the 2014 season.
- Forward Christine Sinclair appeared in her 45th career match for Thorns FC, joining Long and defender Nikki Marshall as one of three players to appear in at least 45 career matches for the club.
- Midfielder Taylor Comeau became the second amateur player to start a match for Thorns FC in the team’s three year history.
- Sinclair tallied her 16th career goal for Thorns FC, moving into sole possession of first place on the all-time career scoring list.
- Forward Sarah Jackson made her first appearance for Thorns FC as an amateur player.
- Long tallied at least one point for a third consecutive match. In each of the last two seasons, Long has tallied at least one point in the first three matches.
- Sinclair has tallied four goals against Chicago during her Thorns FC career.
- Portland has held three consecutive opponents to single-digit shot attempts.
- Long moved into sole possession of second-place all-time in career assists (7) for Thorns FC.
Portland Thorns FC (2-0-1, 7pts) vs. Chicago Red Stars (1-0-1, 4pts)
April 25, 2015 – Village of Lisle-Benedictine University Sports Complex (Lisle, Ill.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Thorns FC 1 1 2
Chicago Red Stars 2 0 2
CHI: Press (Chalupny), 4
CHI: Press (DiBernardo), 8
POR: Sinclair (Long), 29
POR: Shim, 47
CHI: Johnston (Caution), 16
Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Nadine Angerer, D Courtney Niemiec, D Kat Williamson ©, D Emily Menges, M Taylor Comeau* (Kendall Johnson, 59), M Sinead Farrelly, M McCall Zerboni, M Mana Shim (Sarah Jackson*, 90), M Allie Long, M Tobin Heath, F Christine Sinclair
Substitutes Not Used: GK Michelle Betos, F Hanna Terry, D Rachel Van Hollebeke
TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Four players, 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 8 (Shim, Sinclair, 2); FOULS: 12 (Long, 4); OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 3
CHI: GK Karina LeBlanc, D Julie Johnston, D Abby Erceg, D Amanda Gilliland, D Taryn Hemmings, M Danielle Colaprico (Cara Wells, 86), M Vanessa DiBernardo, M Shannon Boxx, M Lori Chalupny, F Jen Hoy (Sofia Hueta, 63), F Christen Press
Substitutes Not Used: GK Michele Dalton, D Rachel Quon, D Samantha Johnson
TOTAL SHOTS: 8 (Press, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Press, 3); FOULS: 12 (DiBernardo, 5); OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 2; SAVES: 6
Referee: Levi Rippy
Assistant Referees: Veronica Perez, Benjamin Wooten
4th Official: Greg Dopka
Weather: 46 degrees, Cloudy
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial.