NWSL MATCH RECAP | Portland Thorns FC 2, Orlando Pride 1

PORTLAND, Ore. – After back-to-back road matches to begin the 2018 season, Portland Thorns FC returned to Providence Park, registering a 2-1 win against the Orlando Pride in the club’s home opener in front of 16,466 fans on Sunday afternoon. Midfielder Lindsey Horan and forward Christine Sinclair each recorded a goal and an assist, helping Portland extend its home winning streak to nine consecutive matches.

Facing the Pride
Sunday’s match marked the fifth regular-season meeting between the Pride and Thorns FC. Portland improved to 4-0-1 all-time against Orlando, including a mark of 3-0-0 at Providence Park. Horan has scored in three of the five meetings with Orlando, while Sinclair has scored in each of the last two matches against the Pride at Providence Park.

Back at Providence Park
After two games on the road to start the season, Portland returned to Providence Park and extended its home winning streak to nine consecutive matches, including playoffs, dating back to the 2016 season. During that span, Thorns FC have outscored their opponents 21-5.

Thorns FC milestones
Horan recorded her 11th career goal in the match, moving her into a tie for fifth place on the all-time goal scoring list for Thorns FC. Sinclair registered her 75th career point, claiming the top spot as Portland’s all-time career leader in points in her 90th career match for the club.

Home openers
With the win, Thorns FC improved to 6-0-0 all-time in home openers, outscoring opponents 15-5. It also marked the third consecutive season Portland has squared off against Orlando in its home opener. Thorns FC have won all three home-opener meetings against Orlando.

Key plays
On Portland’s first corner kick of the match, defender Meghan Klingenberg delivered a low, driven kick towards the center of box. After the ball was initially cleared by Orlando, defender Katherine Reynolds served the ball back across the face of goal from the right wing to forward Tyler Lussi, who put a powerful header on frame, forcing a diving stop by Orlando goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris in the 17th minute.

Orlando opened the scoring against the run of play in the 20th minute. Midfielder Christine Nairn picked off a pass just outside Portland’s box. Dribbling at goal, Nairn slipped a pass to forward Chioma Ubogagu making a run down the left side of the box and Ubogagu slotted the ball into the bottom right corner of the goal.

Portland answered just eight minutes later to even the match. Leading the break, Horan found Sinclair just outside the box. Sinclair quickly turned to play the ball back to Horan, who took a touch and moved the ball to her left foot before hitting a perfect strike from distance off the right post and into the back of the net in the 28th minute.

Remaining on the attack, midfielder Midge Purce got free down the right side. Dribbling down the field, Purce cut back towards the center of the box near the end line and fired a cross to Sinclair waiting just outside the goal box, but her shot went just wide of the right post in the 30th minute.

Thorns FC took a 2-1 lead in the 39th minute, moving the ball down the left flank. Horan drifted out wide and received a pass just near the edge of the box. Horan curled the ball towards the near post and several players jumped looking to head the ball, but it dropped to the feet of Sinclair and she calmly slotted the ball inside the left post from close range.

Searching for a third goal early in the second half, Sinclair pounced on a loose ball near the edge of the box and hit a powerful, dipping shot from long distance towards goal. Harris was able to deflect the shot with Lussi crashing the goal and pushed the ball out of bounds for a corner kick in the 50th minute.

Sinclair helped created another scoring opportunity for Thorns FC in the 62nd minute. Holding up play just outside Orlando’s box, Sinclair played the ball out wide on the right side to Purce. Purce played a cross into the box to forward Ifeoma Onumonu running to the near post. Onumonu fired a shot from close range, but Harris dove making the finger-tip save and deflecting the ball out for a Portland corner kick.

Purce and Onumonu combined again in the 67th minute as Purce sprayed the ball out to Onumonu on the right wing. Onumonu beat her defender and delivered a pinpoint cross for Ana Crnogorcevic at the back post. Crnogorcevic’s shot missed just wide of the left post.

Next Game

Up next, Thorns FC remain at home, playing host to the Washington Spirit on Friday, April 20, at Providence Park. The April 20 match kicks off at 7:30 p.m. (Pacific) and features a live web stream available on the go90 app and online at www.go90.com.

Portland Thorns FC (2-1-0, 6pts) vs. Orlando Pride (0-2-1, 1pt)
April 15, 2018 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)

Goals by Half                            1          2          F
Orlando Pride                            1          0         1
Portland Thorns FC                    2          0         2

Scoring Summary:
ORL: Ubogagu (Nairn), 20
POR: Horan (Sinclair), 28
POR: Sinclair (Horan), 39

Misconduct Summary:
ORL: Pressley (caution), 85

POR: GK Franch, D Purce, D Reynolds, D Sonnett, D Hubly, D Klingenberg, M Boureille (Salem, 90+1), M Horan, F Weber (Crnogorcevic, 60), F Sinclair ©, F Lussi (Onumonu, 61)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Eckerstrom, M Heath

TOTAL SHOTS: 16 (Sinclair, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 8 (Horan, Sinclair, 2); FOULS: 12 (Horan, Purce, 3); OFFSIDES: 6; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 0

ORL: GK Harris ©, D Krieger, D Zadorsky, D Pressley, D Pickett (Elinsky, 67), M Weatherholt, M Edmonds (Evans, 77), M Nairn, F Leroux, F Morgan, F Ubogagu

Substitutes Not Used: GK Kopmeyer, M Callahan, F Gomes, D Okvist, M Creighton

TOTAL SHOTS: 10 (Ubogagu, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 1 (Ubogagu, 1); FOULS: 8 (Three players tied, 2); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 1; SAVES: 6

Referee: Farhad Dadkho
Assistant Referees: Alicia Messer, Joshua Haimes
4th Official: Chad Stewart
Attendance: 16,466
Weather: Showers, 49 degrees

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial