NWSL MATCH RECAP | Portland Thorns FC 1, Sky Blue FC 1

PORTLAND, Ore. – Playing their second game in a span of six days, Portland Thorns FC received a first-half goal from midfielder Lindsey Horan, but Sky Blue FC converted a penalty kick late in the second half as the match finished in a 1-1 draw in front of a season-high 18,237 fans at Providence Park on Wednesday evening. Horan tallied her sixth goal of the season, while forward Christine Sinclair recorded her league-leading fifth assist of the year. 

Horan-Sinclair combo
With the goal, Horan and Sinclair have now combined to score 13 of Portland’s 20 goals this season and eight of the team’s 10 goals at Providence Park. The pair are the highest-scoring duo in the league with 13 goals. Portland is 5-2-2 this season when either Horan or Sinclair tallies a goal. Sinclair currently leads the league in both goals (7) and assists (5), while Horan is now tied for second in the NWSL in goals (6).

Thorns FC milestones
Horan tallied her 15th career goal for Thorns FC match. With the goal, Horan is now tied for third all-time in career goals for Portland. She is the fifth player in club history to record 15 goals. Sinclair recorded her 12th career assist in the match. With the assist, Sinclair now ranks third all-time in career assists for Portland, establishing that mark in her 101st match for Portland, making her the club’s all-time career leader in games played.

Key plays
Thorns FC generated the first chance of the match in the sixth minute. Sinclair picked up a loose ball in midfield and played a pass to midfielder Andressinha running down the center of the field. Andressinha fired a curling strike from distance that sailed just over the crossbar.

Remaining on the front foot, Portland worked the ball down the left side of the field. Andressinha dribbled down the left flank and fired a low, hard cross towards the near post for forward Ana Crnogorcevic, who beat her defender to the pass, but Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan was there to make the save on her attempt in the 11th minute.

Keeping possession following a corner kick, defender Emily Sonnett received a pass inside the box and cut back to lay the ball off for Sinclair making a run towards goal. Sinclair delivered a one-touch strike from inside the box, but a Sky Blue FC player stepped in front of the shot to block the attempt in the 20th minute. 

Less than a minute later, defender Meghan Klingenberg played a looping ball over the backline for Sinclair, who directed a header to the feet of Crnogorcevic near the penalty spot, but Crnogorcevic sent her shot just wide of the right post.

Goalkeeper Adrianna Franch made a key stop late in the first half to keep Sky Blue FC off the scoreboard in the 38th minute. Forward Shea Groom found midfielder Imani Dorsey making a late run towards the left post, and Dorsey hit a swerving, one-touch strike from close range, but Franch jump high to her right to parry the shot away.

Portland nearly claimed the lead in the 39th minute on the counter attack. Horan started the attack and played the ball out wide on the right side to midfielder Mallory Weber. Horan continued her run into the box and jumped to get on the end of cross played in from the right flank by Weber, putting a powerful header on the frame that was tipped over the crossbar by Sheridan.

Thorns FC claimed a 1-0 lead in the 45th minute on a set piece. Klingenberg delivered a perfectly-placed ball into the box for Sinclair, who flicked the ball on for Horan, who sent a diving header past the outstretched arms of Sheridan for her sixth goal of the season.

Sky Blue FC leveled the match in the 77th minute as midfielder Carli Lloyd converted a penalty kick after she was fouled inside the box. 

Searching for the game-winner, Thorns FC had several additional scoring chances late in the match, including a shot from Crngorcevic that missed just wide of the right post in the 85th minute. Sinclair picked her head up to find Horan running in behind the Sky Blue FC backline down the left side of the box and played a pass into space. The ball deflected off a Sky Blue FC player and landed for Crnogorcevic, but her shot from close range just missed the target.

Franch, who finished the match with three saves, helped Portland earn the point with another key save late in the match. Lloyd played a quick through ball to Groom making a darting run across the box. Groom fired a shot from the right wing, but Franch made the kick save in the 87th minute.

Next Game
Up next, Thorns FC travel for a road match against Seattle Reign FC on Saturday, June 30, at Memorial Stadium. The June 30 match kicks off at 7 p.m. (Pacific) and features a live web stream available at www.go90.com and on the go90 app.

Portland Thorns FC (5-4-5, 20pts) vs. Sky Blue FC (0-9-3, 3pts)
June 27, 2018 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)

Goals by Half                1          2          F
Portland Thorns FC       1          0          1
Sky Blue FC                  0          1          1

Scoring Summary: 
POR: Horan (Sinclair), 45
NJ: Lloyd (penalty kick), 77

Misconduct Summary:
NJ: Beckie (caution), 41
POR: Salem (caution), 90+1
NJ: Freeman (caution), 90+2

POR: GK Franch, D Carpenter, D Sonnett (Salem, 46), D Reynolds, D Klingenberg, M Boureille, M Horan, M Weber (Raso, 57), M Sinclair ©, M Andressinha, F Crnogorcevic

Substitutes Not Used: GK Eckerstrom, D Hubly, F Onumonu, F Lussi

TOTAL SHOTS: 15 (Horan, 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Horan, 3); FOULS: 7 (Boureille, 3), OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 6; SAVES: 3

NJ: GK Sheridan, D Skroski, D Freeman, D Richardson, D Frisbie, M Killion, M Dorsey (Rodriguez, 74), M Lloyd ©, M Beckie (Abam, 90), F McCaskill (Tiernan, 59), F Groom

Substitutes Not Used: GK Casey, D Meehan, D Gibbons, M Thaisa

TOTAL SHOTS: 14 (Groom, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Groom, 2); FOULS: 7 (Groom, 2); OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 4

Referee: Ekaterina Koroleva
Assistant Referees: Dan Stupca, Seth Martin
4th Official: CJ Koll
Attendance: 18,237
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 64 degrees

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial