PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Thorns FC surrendered a goal in each half and were unable to overcome a two-goal deficit, falling 2-1 to FC Kansas City in front of 16,942 fans at Providence Park on Saturday night.
The loss was the first of the season for Thorns FC (7-1-5, 26pts) as it snapped a 12-game unbeaten streak, which stretched from April 17-July 2. Portland’s unbeaten streak was the longest in club history and the second-longest unbeaten streak in NWSL history.
Trailing after a pair of goals from FC Kansas City (3-5-4, 13pts) forward Shea Groom in the 23rd and 54th minutes, Portland registered a 10-6 advantage in shots in the second half, making a push late in the game. Defender Kat Williamson, who returned to the field for the first time since suffering a knee injury on April 23 against FC Kansas City, tallied her first career NWSL goal in the 76th minute, getting on the end of a free kick by forward Nadia Nadim after midfielder Dagny Brynjarsdottir knocked the ball away from FC Kansas City goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart.
Remaining on the front foot in search of an equalizer, forward Hayley Raso was pulled down near the edge of the box late into second-half stoppage time, resulting in a free kick for Portland. Nadim lined up the kick, but sent her shot over the bar. Moments later, forward Mallory Weber got behind the FC Kansas City backline and sent a header towards goal, but Barnhart came off her line to knock down Weber’s attempt.
Portland created several additional goal-scoring opportunities in the second half, including a powerful strike from distance by midfielder Mana Shim in the 66th minute. Late in the match, midfielder Celeste Boureille and defender Sam Lofton both created quality chances as Boureille’s header missed just wide of the left post in the 89th minute and Lofton’s long-range attempt was saved by Barnhart in second-half stoppage time.
Goalkeeper Michelle Betos helped keep Portland in the match, making four of her five saves in the first half, denying forward Frances Silva at point-blank range in the fifth minute and midfielder Mandy Laddish in the 21st minute, while making a sprawling save to tip the ball past the right post on a curling effort from midfielder Erika Tymrak in the 16th minute.
Up next, Thorns FC travel to square off against the Houston Dash on Saturday, July 16, at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston. Saturday’s match kicks off at 5:30 p.m. (Pacific) and features a live web stream at www.thornsfc.com.
Portland Thorns FC (7-1-5, 26pts) vs. FC Kansas City (3-5-4, 13pts)
July 9, 2016 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
FC Kansas City 1 1 2
Portland Thorns FC 0 1 1
KC: Groom (McCarty), 23
KC: Groom (McCarty), 54
POR: Williamson (Brynjarsdottir), 76
KC: Reed (Caution), 51
POR: Nadim (Caution), 62
KC: Averbuch (Caution), 90+3
Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Betos, D Weber, D Reynolds, D Menges ©, D Berryhill (Williamson, 61, (Lofton, 88), M Brynjarsdottir, M Boureille, M Pratt (Skogerboe, 57), M Shim, M Raso, F Nadim
Substitutes Not Used: GK Franch, M Fitzgerald
TOTAL SHOTS: 16 (Raso, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Raso, 2); FOULS: 5 (Brynjarsdottir, 3); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 5
KC: GK Barnhart ©, D Bowen, D Taylor, D Averbuch, D Reed (Menchel, 79), M Laddish, M Tymrak (Kastor, 88), M LaBonta, F Groom, F Silva, F McCarty (Weimer, 90+3)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Parkhill
TOTAL SHOTS: 16 (Groom, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Groom, Laddish, 2); FOULS: 13 (Three playered tied, 2); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 6
Referee: Farhad Dadkho
Assistant Referees: Christopher Elliott, Ceciah Valero
4th Official: Jason Perlewitz
Weather: Cloudy, 64 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial.