PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Thorns FC received a late goal from forward Christine Sinclair, but were unable to overcome an early first-half deficit and mount a comeback, falling 3-1 to Sky Blue FC in front of 16,736 fans at Providence Park on Saturday night.
It marked the first loss at home in regular-season play for Thorns FC (4-2-3, 15pts) since July 9, 2016, snapping an eight-game regular-season home unbeaten streak.
Sinclair tallied a goal late in the match for Portland – the 25th goal of her NWSL career. With the goal, Sinclair is the eighth player in league history to reach the 25-goal mark as well as one of just four players to score 25 or more goals with the same club.
Deep in second-half stoppage time, midfielder Amandine Henry earned a penalty kick after she was pulled down in the box by Sky Blue FC defender Kayla Mills. Sinclair delivered a low, hard strike to the right bottom corner that was initially saved by Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan, but the rebound on Sheridan’s save bounced back to Sinclair, who finished into top left corner.
Trailing 1-0 after a goal in the opening minute by Sky Blue FC midfielder Raquel Rodriguez, Portland peppered the Sky Blue FC goal, tallying seven shots, while controlling 59.9 percent of the possession in the first half. Sinclair nearly leveled the score in the ninth minute. Midfielder Allie Long started the Thorns FC counter attack, finding forward Hayley Raso near the edge of the box with a quick pass in between two defenders. Raso slotted the ball to Sinclair making a run into the box, but Sinclair fired her shot just wide of the right post.
Remaining on the front foot, Sinclair delivered a scooped pass into the box for forward Mallory Weber surging down the left flank. Weber cut back towards the center of the goal, but a Sky Blue FC defender dove in at the last moment with a sliding block. Sinclair pounced on the loose ball, but again her shot attempt was blocked and cleared by a Sky Blue FC player.
Pushing for the equalizer early in the second half, midfielder Lindsey Horan got in behind the Sky Blue FC backline, placing a powerful header on frame as she connected with a long ball served into the box by defender Emily Sonnett, but Sheridan dove to her left to make the stop.
Sky Blue FC (5-4-1, 16pt) added two more goals in the final 20 minutes as forward Sam Kerr scored on two quick counter attacks, placing a pair of shots from the edge of the box inside the right post.
Next up, Thorns FC travel for a road match against the Washington Spirit on Saturday, June 24, at Maureen Hendricks Field at the Maryland SoccerPlex. The June 24 match kicks off at 4 p.m. (Pacific) with a live, high-definition web stream at www.go90.com.
- Christine Sinclair scored her 25th career goal for Portland in the match. Sinclair is the eighth player in league history to reach this mark.
- Portland is the only team in the NWSL with two players who have scored 25 or more goals for the same club. Allie Long has 29 career goals all with Thorns FC.
- Thorns FC is the only club with three active players that have scored 25 or more goals during their NWSL career (Long, Nadim, Sinclair).
- Forward Ashleigh Sykes made her NWSL debut, entering the match as a second-half substitute in the 62nd minute.
- Midfielder Allie Long started her 85th career match for Thorns FC. Long is one of four players in NWSL history to start in 85 or more matches for the same club.
- The loss snapped Portland’s six-game unbeaten run this season. Additionally, it marked Thorns FC’s first regular-season home loss since July 9, 2016.
- Defender Emily Menges appeared in her 29th consecutive match and has now played 2,610 consecutive minutes.
- Goalkeeper Adrianna Franch surpassed 150 saves for NWSL career becoming the eighth goalkeeper in league history to reach 150 career saves and the fourth among active NWSL goalkeepers.
Portland Thorns FC (4-2-3, 15pts) vs. Sky Blue FC (5-4-1, 16pts)
June 17, 2017 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Sky Blue FC 1 2 3
Portland Thorns FC 0 1 1
NJ: Rodriguez (Kerr), 1
NJ: Kerr (Hayes), 70
NJ: Kerr (Tiernan), 88
POR: Sinclair, 90+5
NJ: O’Hara (Caution), 74
NJ: Stanton (Caution), 90
POR: Henry (Caution), 90
Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Franch, D Boureille, D Sonnett, D Menges, D Klingenberg, M Long, M Henry, M Horan, F Raso, F Weber (Sykes, 62), F Sinclair ©
Substitutes Not Used: GK Eckerstrom, D Cox, D Johnson, M Brynjarsdottir, M Shim
TOTAL SHOTS: 15 (Sinclair, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Three players tied, 2); FOULS: 16 (Four players tied, 3); OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 6; SAVES: 5
NJ: GK Sheridan, D O’Hara, D Pearce ©, D Freeman, D Mills, M Galton (Hayes, 69), M Killion, M Rodriguez, M Lytle (Stanton, 78), F Kerr, F Meehan (Tiernan, 61)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Casey, D Richardson, M Corboz, F DeCesare
TOTAL SHOTS: 14 (Meehan, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 8 (Three players tied, 2); FOULS: 14 (Mills, 3); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 7; SAVES: 6
Referee: Timothy Ford
Assistant Referees: Deleana Quan, JJ Blodgett
4th Official: Cephas Quartson
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 72 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial.