BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Opening up a two-game road swing, Portland Thorns FC received goals from forwards Hayley Raso and Christine Sinclair, and defender Emily Sonnett, extending their unbeaten streak to five games with a 3-2 win on the road against the Chicago Red Stars in front of 4,934 fans at Toyota Park on Saturday night.
With the win, Thorns FC (9-4-4, 31pts) have now won four straight games, scoring multiple goals in three of their four wins, and moved into sole possession of second place in the NWSL standings, just two points behind the first-place North Carolina Courage (33pts). In addition, Portland handed Chicago its first home loss of the season, while becoming the first team to score three goals against the Red Stars in 2017.
Tied at 2-2 to start the second half, Sonnett scored for a second consecutive game, tallying the game-winner after directing a header off a pinpoint free kick played into the box by defender Meghan Klingenberg just inside the right post in the 55th minute. The assist was Klingenberg’s team-leading fourth of the season, which is tied for second-most in the NWSL. Additionally, Portland did not surrender a shot on target in the second half for a second straight match.
Starting out on the front foot, Thorns FC tallied two goals in the opening 10 minutes of the match. On the counter attack, midfielder Lindsey Horan delivered a well-weighted ball from near midfield into space behind the Red Stars backline for Raso making a run towards the goal. Sprinting into the box with pressure from behind by defender Sam Johnson, Raso was able to poke the ball past goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, who was charging off her line in the third minute.
Portland doubled its lead in the ninth minute, working the ball down the right side with a series of passes. Raso played the ball to midfielder Amandine Henry making a run towards the end line. Henry cut back, delivering a cross to the center of the box for Brynjarsdottir, who laid the ball off to Sinclair for the finish from close range to give Thorns FC a 2-0 advantage.
Chicago (8-4-5, 29pts) answered with a goal in the 16th minute from forward Christen Press and forward Sofia Huerta leveled the match in the 37th minute. Goalkeeper Adrianna Franch, who recorded three saves, made a key stop to deny a long-range effort from midfielder Alyssa Mautz in the 16th minute, tipping her lofted shot off the bar, but Press collected the rebound and scored, while Huerta converted near the goal line, pouncing on the loose ball and finishing near the right post.
Raso registered her third goal of the season, while Horan recorded her second assist of the campaign on the opening goal. Sinclair recorded her team-leading fifth goal of 2017, marking the fourth time in five NWSL seasons that the Canadian international has scored five or more goals in a season, and Brynjarsdottir tallied her first point and assist of 2017.
Facing a quick turnaround, Portland squares off against FC Kansas City in a midweek match on Wednesday, Aug. 16, at Children’s Mercy Victory Field; kickoff is set for 5 p.m. (Pacific) with a live, high-definition web stream available at www.nwslsoccer.com and www.g90.com.
- Portland is unbeaten in its last five matches (4-0-1), which includes a four-game winning streak.
- Midfielder Lindsey Horan tallied her second assist of the season. Horan is one of four Thorns FC players (Meghan Klingenberg, Hayley Raso, Tyler Lussi) to record multiple assists this season.
- Midfielder Dagny Brynjarsdottir registered her first point and assist of the season in the match.
- Forward Christine Sinclair tallied her 28th career goal in the match, her team-leading fifth of the season.
- Sinclair has now scored five or more goals in four of her five seasons for Thorns FC.
- Sinclair is the seventh different player to score a goal for Thorns FC in their last five matches.
- Portland scored two goals inside the first 10 minutes of a match for the second time this season on Saturday.
- Defender Meghan Klingenberg tallied her fourth assist of the season, which is tied for second most in the NWSL and the most among defenders.
- Defender Emily Sonnett scored for a second straight match. Sonnett now has two goals this season, and three for her NWSL career.
- Portland is unbeaten in 10 consecutive matches against the Red Stars, including a mark of 3-0-4 in road matches.
- Thorns FC have scored 12 of their 21 goals against Chicago in the first 30 minutes of matches.
- Sinclair has seven goals in 12 career matches against the Red Stars, including a goal in the last three matches on the road against Chicago.
Portland Thorns FC (9-4-4, 31pts) at Chicago Red Stars (8-4-5, 29pts)
Aug. 12, 2017 – Toyota Park (Bridgeview, Ill.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Thorns FC 2 1 3
Chicago Red Stars 2 0 2
POR: Raso (Horan), 3
POR: Sinclair (Brynjarsdottir), 9
CHI: Press, 16
CHI: Huerta (Ertz), 37
POR: Sonnett (Klingenberg), 55
CHI: Gilliland (caution), 54
Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Franch, D Reynolds, D Sonnett, D Menges, D Klingenberg, M Henry, M Horan, M Sinclair ©, F Sykes (Weber, 73), F Raso (Boureille, 90), F Brynjarsdottir (Lussi, 61)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Eckerstrom, D Johnson, D Cox, F Nadim
TOTAL SHOTS: 5 (Five players tied, 1); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Three players tied, 1); FOULS: 9 (Brynjasdottir, Sykes, 2); OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 3
CHI: GK Naeher, D Gilliland, D Johnson (Proffitt, 85), D Naughton, D Short, M Ertz, M Colaprico (Hoy, 65), M Mautz (Nagasato, 59), M DiBernardo, F Press ©, F Huerta
Substitutes Not Used: GK Dalton, D Comeau, M Green, F McCaffrey
TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Press, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Huerta, Press, 2); FOULS: 11 (Press, 3); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 6; SAVES: 0
Referee: Greg Dopka
Assistant Referees: Cory Richardson, John Krill
4th Official: Rebecca Pagan
Weather: Sunny, 71 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial.