PORTLAND, Ore. – Behind three first-half goals, Portland Thorns FC registered a 4-0 win over the Washington Spirit, recording the team’s ninth clean sheet of the campaign in front of 19,141 at Providence Park on Saturday afternoon. With the win, Portland’s magic number to clinch its fourth playoff berth in five NWSL seasons now stands at two, with Thorns FC being able to secure a postseason spot as early as Sunday with a draw or loss by Sky Blue FC against FC Kansas City.
Thorns FC (12-5-4, 40pts) picked up their sixth straight win at Providence Park as part of a stretch of seven wins in their last eight games. It marked Portland’s ninth home win this campaign, establishing a new single-season record for home wins, while also equaling the mark for the most regular-season wins (12) set in 2016.
Forward Christine Sinclair registered her second brace of the season, and the fourth of her Thorns FC career, with a goal in each half. With the two goals, Sinclair now has seven goals on the season and 30 for her NWSL career, which ties midfielder Allie Long for the most goals all-time in Thorns FC history.
Portland opened the scoring in the 22nd minute, tallying two goals in a span of three minutes as forward Nadia Nadim converted the rebound after her penalty-kick attempt was saved, while Sinclair doubled the lead in the 25th minute. Pushing the attack, Nadim helped created a chance for Portland with a quick restart after a foul outside the box. Nadim sent a quick slip pass through to Long making a run towards goal, and on Long’s attempt to shoot she was fouled in the box, earning Portland a penalty kick.
Less than three minutes later, Sinclair scored her first goal of the game. Building down the left side of the field, Nadim dribbled towards the end line before cutting back and firing a pass into the box near the penalty spot. Sinclair beat a Washington defender to the ball and with a deft touch lifted the ball over the defender, sending a well-placed shot off the bounce into the right corner of the goal.
Remaining on the front foot, Thorns FC created additional scoring opportunities in the first half before claiming a 3-0 lead as defender Emily Sonnett tallied her third goal of the season. Defender Meghan Klingenberg earned her team-leading sixth assist of the season on the goal, which is tied for second most in the NWSL, after serving the ball to the near post for Sonnett, who directed the ball with a flicked header back across the front of the goal and over the line in the 40th minute.
Portland finished the match with 57.1 percent of the possession, controlling 58.3 percent in the second half and adding a fourth goal late in the match as Sinclair completed the brace, while Sonnett recorded her first assist of the season in the 81st minute. Long connected with Klingenberg’s corner kick, sending a headed shot off the left post. Sonnett stayed with the play and redirected the ball to Sinclair for the finish from close range at the right post.
Defensively, Thorns FC recorded their ninth clean sheet of the season, and their seventh at Providence Park in 2017, while goalkeeper Adrianna Franch made five saves in the match.
Thorns FC begin a two-game road swing, traveling to take on the Boston Breakers on Sunday, Sept. 10, at Jordan Field. The Sept. 10 match kicks off at 3 p.m. (Pacific) and features a live, high-definition web stream available at www.nwslsoccer.com and www.go90.com.
- Portland set a new single-season record for home wins (9), while equaling the club’s mark for regular-season wins (12) set in 2016.
- Thorns FC have won six consecutive home matches, outscoring opponents 14-2, while posting four shutouts in that span.
- Forward Christine Sinclair scored her second brace of the season, recording the fourth brace of her Thorns FC and her fifth career multi-goal game.
- Sinclair is now tied with Allie Long for the most goals in Thorns FC history (30), while also becoming the sixth player in league history to reach the mark. She is also tied for the fifth most goals in NWSL history.
- Sinclair has now scored seven or more goals in three of her five NWSL seasons (2013, 2014, 2017).
- Forward Nadia Nadim tallied her fifth goal of the season and added her third assist of the campaign.
- Defender Emily Sonnett tallied her third goal of the season. All three of Sonnett’s goal have come off set pieces.
- Nadim and Sonett are the third and fourth players (Hayley Raso, Tyler Lussi) this season to register a goal and an assist in the same match.
- Nadim has now scored five or more goals in four consecutive NWSL seasons.
- Defender Meghan Klingenberg recorded her sixth assist of the season, which is now tied for the second most in the NWSL in 2017.
- Thorns FC scored three goals in the first half for the first time this season in the match. The last time Portland scored three goals in the first half was against Washington in May 2015.
- The attendance for the match was 19,141, which is the second-largest attendance this season, and marks the second time Portland has had a crowd of more than 19,000 this season.
Portland Thorns FC (12-5-4, 40pts) vs. Washington Spirit (4-13-4, 16pts)
Sept. 2, 2017 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Washington Spirit 0 0 0
Portland Thorns FC 3 1 4
POR: Nadim, 23
POR: Sinclair (Nadim), 25
POR: Sonnett (Klingenberg), 40
POR: Sinclair (Sonnett), 81
WSH: Haracic (caution), 21
POR: Reynolds (caution), 36
Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Franch, D Reynolds, D Sonnett, D Menges (Johnson, 83), D Klingenberg, M Henry, M Horan, M Sinclair, F Sykes (Weber, 46), F Long, F Nadim (Jordan, 83)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Eckerstrom, D Boureille
TOTAL SHOTS: 16 (Nadim, Sinclair, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 8 (Nadim, 3); FOULS: 7 (Horan, 2); OFFSIDES: 7; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 5
WSH: GK Haracic, D Dydasco, D Church, D Zadorsky © (Kallman, 46), D Kleiner, M Williams, M Dougherty Howard, M Huster, M Solaun, F Banini (Agnew, 52), F Pugh (Farquharson, 46)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Wys, M Proffitt
TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (Three players tied, 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Five players tied, 1); FOULS: 11 (Dougherty Howard, 3); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 4
Referee: Katja Koroleva
Assistant Referees: Deleana Quan, Joshua Haimes
4th Official: Cephas Quartson
Weather: Sunny, 85 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial.