HOUSTON – Playing the second of back-to-back road matches, Portland Thorns FC received first-half goals from midfielder Tobin Heath and forward Ana Crnogorcevic, while forward Christine Sinclair added goal and an assist in a 3-1 win on the road against the Houston Dash at BBVA Compass Stadium on Friday night. With the win, Portland is unbeaten in its last six road matches (3-0-3). Sinclair tallied her league-leading seventh goal of the season in the 83rd minute as she made her 100th appearance for the club and added her fourth assist, which is tied for the NWSL lead, on Heath’s goal in the ninth minute.
Portland improved to 3-1-3 on the road this season, extending its unbeaten streak to six consecutive road matches (3-0-3). It marked the 11th road win for Thorns FC since the start of the 2016, which ranks as the second-most road wins in the NWSL during that stretch. In addition, Portland has earned at least one point on the road in nine of its last 10 road matches (5-1-4). Crnogorcevic and Heath each have two goals this season and have scored all of those goals on the road.
On her 100th match
Sinclair appeared in her 100th match with Thorns FC in the NWSL on Friday night. She is the seventh player in league history to appear in 100 games all with the same team. Additionally, with the appearance Sinclair is now tied for the most career appearances by a Thorns FC player in club history. Sinclair is the second player to score in her 100th career match this season for Portland as defender Katherine Reynolds tallied a goal in her 100th match on May 25 against North Carolina. Sinclair tallied her NWSL-leading seventh goal and fourth assist in the match. In addition, Sinclair has recorded a goal or an assist in eight of Thorns FC’s 13 matches this season.
Thorns FC improved to 7-2-3 all-time against Houston, including a mark of 3-1-3 on the road. Portland is now unbeaten in its last six matches (4-0-2) against the Dash, outscoring Houston 12-4 during that stretch. Crnogorcevic has tallied two goals in two career matches against the Dash.
Thorns FC took an 1-0 lead in the opening 10 minutes. Sinclair picked up a loose ball just outside the box and played a diagonal pass into the box. Crnogorcevic was running near the edge of the box and let the ball roll between her legs for Heath, who made a run down the left side of the box. Heath took a touch and delivered a side-footed finish from close range in the ninth minute for her second goal of the season.
Less than three minutes later, the Dash leveled the score as midfielder Sofia Huerta pounced on a loose ball in the box that Portland was unable to clear, finishing in front of goal at the right post in the 12th minute.
Goalkeeper Adrianna Franch was called into action early in the match in the 15th minute. Off a Houston corner kick, midfielder Clare Polkinghorne delivered a powerful header on frame from the right wing and Franch jumped high to her left to snag the attempt out of the air.
Heath helped create another early scoring chance, playing defender Meghan Klingenberg a perfectly weighted through ball down the left side into the box in the 20th minute. Klingenberg sent a cross into the center of the box for Crnogorgevic running towards goal, but her header from close range went over the crossbar.
Thorns FC reclaimed the lead in the 33rd minute as Crnogorcevic recorded her second goal of the season. Again building down the left side, Heath played a pass out to Klingenberg at the edge of the box. Klingenberg delivered a ball for Crnogorcevic, and in stride she hit a side-footed strike from close range that was initially saved by Houston goalkeeper Jane Campbell. Crnogorcevic stayed with the play and jumped heading the ball off the right post and into the net.
Defender Emily Menges came up with a key block in the 65th minute. Forward Kealia Ohai weaved her way through the box down the left side before playing a short pass to Huerta making a run towards goal. Franch came off her line to try to make a play on Ohai, but was unable to and Huerta delivered a shot from point-blank range, but Menges stepped in front of Huerta to block the attempt.
Thorns FC added a third goal in the 83rd minute as Sinclair tallied her league-leading seventh goal of the season in her 100th career appearance. Building from the back, Klingenberg sent a long ball up field for forward Tyler Lussi, who chested the ball down and laid if off for Sinclair. She faced up and dribbled at the Houston backline before curling a long-distance strike into the top corner of the goal to put Portland ahead 3-1.
- Friday’s match marked forward Sinclair’s 100th career match for Thorns FC. She is the second player in club history to appear in 100 matches.
- Sinclair is the seventh player in league history to appear in 100 games all with the same NWSL team.
- Sinclair is the second Portland player to score in her 100th career game this season. Defender Katherine Reynolds scored in her 100th career match on May 25 against North Carolina.
- Portland extended its road unbeaten streak to six games (3-0-3), including a mark of 1-0-1 on the road against the Dash this season.
- Thorns FC improved to 7-2-3 all-time against the Dash, including a mark of 3-1-3 on the road.
- Heath tallied her second goal of the season. Both of her goals have come on the road and have been assisted by Sinclair. It marks the first time in her NWSL career Heath has scored multiple goals in a season.
- Sinclair tallied her fourth assist of the season on Heath’s goal in the ninth minute. With the assist, Sinclair is tied for the league lead in assists.
- The assist for Sinclair was the 11th of her Thorns FC career, which now moves her into a tie for third-place all-time in assists for the club.
- Thorns FC’s goal in the ninth minute is tied for their earliest goal scored in a match this season. Midfielder Lindsey Horan also scored in the ninth minute in a 3-2 win on the road against the Chicago Red Stars on March 31.
- Heath has tallied a goal or an assist in three of her last five matches (1g, 2a).
- Crnogorcevic scored her second goal of the season, tallying two goals in two games against Houston this season.
- Thorns FC have scored11 first-half goals this season, which is tied with the Chicago Red Stars for the most in the NWSL in 2018.
- Lussi recorded her first assist of the season on Sinclair’s goal in the 83rd minute.
- Franch returned to action for the first time since starting at home against the Orlando Pride on April 15.
Facing a quick turnaround, Thorns FC return to the Rose City to play host to Sky Blue FC in a midweek match on Wednesday, June 27, at Providence Park. The June 27 match kicks off at 7:30 p.m. (Pacific) and features a live web stream available at www.go90.com and on the go90 app.
Portland Thorns FC (5-4-4, 19pts) vs. Houston Dash (3-5-5, 14pts)
June 22, 2018 – BBVA Compass Stadium (Houston, Texas)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Houston Dash 1 0 1
Portland Thorns FC 2 1 3
POR: Heath (Sinclair), 9
HOU: Huerta, 12
POR: Crnogorcevic, 33
POR: Sinclair (Lussi), 83
HOU: Simon (caution), 85
POR: GK Franch, D Reynolds, D Menges, D Sonnett, D Klingenberg, M Boureille, M Andressinha, M Carpenter (Weber, 88), M Sinclair ©, M Heath (Raso, 56), F Crnogorcevic (Lussi, 66)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Eckerstrom, D Hubly, M Salem, F Onumonu
TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Crnogorcevic, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Crnogorcevic, 2); FOULS: 15 (Boureille, Crnogorcevic, 3), OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 2; SAVES: 1
HOU: GK Campbell, D Comeau, D Brooke, D Van Wyk, D Chapman, M Polkinghorne (Kgatlana, 69), M Simon (Latsko, 89), M Mothalo, M Huerta, M Ohai ©, F Daly
Substitutes Not Used: GK Henninger, D Agnew, M Hanson, F Prince, F Jordan, F Jordan
TOTAL SHOTS: 17 (Huerta, Simon, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Huerta, 2); FOULS: 8 (Simon, 3); OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 7; SAVES: 2
Referee: Jasmine Peralta
Assistant Referees: Deleana Quan, Joshua Haimes
4th Official: Laura Rodriguez
Weather: Partly cloudy, 91 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial