PORTLAND, Ore. – Playing the second game of a three-game home stand, Portland Thorns FC rallied, scoring a pair of goals in the final 28 minutes to claim a 2-1 win against the Washington Spirit in front of 18,478 fans at Providence Park on Saturday night.
Forward Mallory Weber tallied her first career professional goal in the match, the game-winner in the 80th minute, while midfielder Allie Long scored her 30th career goal for Thorns FC. Additionally, forward Tyler Lussi and Ashleigh Sykes each recorded their first career assists for Portland in the match.
With the win, Thorns FC (7-4-4, 25pts) improved to 6-1-1 at Providence Park this season, moving up to third place in the NWSL standings. Portland is now just two points behind the second-place North Carolina Courage (27pts) and three points back of the league-leading Chicago Red Stars (28pts).
Just three minutes after entering the game, Weber recorded the game-winner. Making a hard run down the center of the goal box, Sykes slotted a pinpoint pass to Weber in front of goal for the tap in in the 80th minute.
Scoreless at the break, Portland nearly took the lead early in the second half, hitting the crossbar twice. Forward Christine Sinclair delivered a curling strike from just outside the box towards the right corner that bounced off the bar in the 51st minute, while Long directed a header off a corner kick by defender Meghan Klingenberg off the bar from inside five yards in the 60th minute.
Washington (3-8-3, 12pts) took a 1-0 lead in the 58th minute as forward Havana Solaun converted from close range, but Thorns FC answered quickly, leveling the match through Long in the 62nd minute. Defender Emily Sonnett served a free kick from 35 yards out on the left wing to the right post. Lussi sent a glancing header back across the face off goal for Long, who pounced on the bouncing ball and finished from inside the box.
Remaining on the front foot, Thorns FC created several additional goal scoring opportunities in search of the game-winning goal. Goalkeeper Adrianna Franch started the break with a long throw to forward Hayley Raso sprinting down the left side into space. Raso dribbled the full length of the field and fired a low, hard shot that skipped just wide of the left post in the 70th minute.
Thorns FC will return to action following a league-wide break for international matches and will play host to the Houston Dash on Saturday, Aug. 5, at Providence Park. The Aug. 5 match is slated as the NWSL Game of the Week on Lifetime at 12:30 p.m. (Pacific).
Portland Thorns FC (7-4-4, 25pts) vs. Washington Spirit (3-8-3, 12pts)
July 22, 2017 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Washington Spirit 0 1 1
Portland Thorns FC 0 2 2
WSH: Solaun, 58
POR: Long (Lussi), 62
POR: Weber (Sykes), 80
WSH: Shipp (caution), 12
POR: Sykes (caution), 30
WSH: Dydasco (caution), 72
Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Franch, D Reynolds (Boureille, 73), D Sonnett, D Menges, D Klingenberg, M Long, M Horan, M Sinclair ©, F Sykes (Hubly, 83), F Raso, F Lussi (Weber, 77)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Eckerstrom, D Johnson, D Cox, M Herndon
TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Horan, Lussi, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Three players tied, 1); FOULS: 9 (Klingenberg, Lussi, 2); OFFSIDES: 7; CORNER KICKS: 6; SAVES: 6
WAS: GK Labbe, D Johnson, D Church, D Zadorsky ©, D Dydasco, M Mewis (Farquharson, 85), M Dougherty Howard, M Huster, F Solaun, F Ship (Williams, 74), F Pugh
Substitutes Not Used: GK Haracic, D Agnew, D Kallman, M Kleiner, M Aedo
TOTAL SHOTS: 15 (Mewis, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Mewis, Pugh, 2); FOULS: 11 (Three players tied, 2); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 1
Referee: Michael Radchuk
Assistant Referees: John Krill, Walter Heatherly
4th Official: Cephas Quartson
Weather: Sunny, 87 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial.