NWSL MATCH RECAP | Portland Thorns FC 5, Houston Dash 0

PORTLAND, Ore. – In front of a record-setting crowd of 22,329 fans, Portland Thorns FC scored four goals in a 23-minute span in the first half on their way to securing a 5-0 win against the Houston Dash at Providence Park on Wednesday night. Lindsey Horan, Christine Sinclair and Hayley Raso all tallied goals, while Tobin Heath finished with two assists.

Record crowd
Wednesday’s match featured the largest crowd in Thorns FC history – 22,329 fans – surpassing the previous record of 21,144 fans, a mark set six times at Providence Park prior to the 2019 stadium expansion. In total, it marked the eighth match in club history with 20,000 or more fans.

Balanced attack
Portland (7-2-5, 26pts) has tallied 30 goals this season, which leads the NWSL, receiving goals from 12 different players. Horan became the 12th different player to score a goal for Thorns FC this season in the match. Sinclair scored for a third consecutive match, while Raso registered two goals, increasing her season total to three goals. With her three goals, Raso is one of six players this season to score multiple goals for Portland. Additionally, Midge Purce recorded her first career assist for Portland, becoming the 10th player to register an assist for Thorns FC in 2019.

Double up
Raso recorded her second career brace, tallying her two goals in a span of 11 minutes in the first half. She is the third player to record a multi-goal game for Thorns FC in 2019, joining Purce and Sinclair. Heath tallied her fourth career multi-assist game on Wednesday. It also marked her second career multi-assist game against Houston.

Against Houston
With the win, Portland is unbeaten in its last nine matches (7-0-2) against the Dash. Thorns FC are 10-2-3 all-time in the series, with a record of 6-1-0 at Providence Park against the Dash. Individually, Horan has scored five goals in seven matches against the Dash, which is the most goals for Horan against a single opponent.

Key plays
Portland opened the scoring in the seventh minute of the match. Gabby Seiler intercepted a pass just outside Houston’s box on the right side of the field. Seiler slotted the ball to Heath, who dribbled into the box and played a quick pass just inside the box to Horan, who hit a one-time shot into bottom right corner of the goal.

Thorns FC doubled their lead in the 12th minute of the match. Meghan Klingenberg and Heath linked up on the left side of the field. Heath received a pass and dribbled to the end line, slotting a perfect cross through the box to Raso near the right post for the finish.

Sinclair increased Portland’s lead to 3-0 in the 18th minute of the match from the penalty spot. Purce found space running down the right side of the field and was fouled by Houston’s Amber Brooks near the right edge of the box, earning a penalty kick for Portland. Sinclair stepped to the spot and sent her shot past the outstretched arms of Houston goalkeeper Jane Campbell.

Thorns FC added a fourth goal in the 23rd minute as Raso registered her second career brace. Heath played a perfectly weighted through ball into space for Purce near the edge of the box. Purce drew multiple defenders and calmly slotted a pass to Raso, who converted from close range. 

Portland nearly added a fifth goal in the 32nd minute. Horan unleashed a bicycle kick from near the penalty spot, but Campbell got a touch, tipping the shot off the crossbar. Heath followed up with a shot attempt, but again Campbell made the save.

Houston generated a chance in the 45th minute of the match. Serving a ball into the box on a corner kick, Rachel Daly unleashed a shot from close range, but Thorns FC goalkeeper Adrianna Franch made a kick save to deny the Dash.

Remaining on the front foot in the 67th minute, Heath received a pass from Sinclair inside the box, running down the left side. Heath nutmegged her defender and fired a shot from a tight angle near the left post, forcing a save by Campbell.

In the 71st minute, Heath served a free kick into the center of the box from the right corner of the box. The ball took multiple deflections and landed for Tyler Lussi, who fired a shot toward goal that was deflected into the back of the net by Campbell and ruled an own goal to give Thorns FC a 5-0 lead.

Portland Thorns FC (7-2-5, 26pts) vs. Houston Dash (4-6-4, 16pts)

July 24, 2019 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)

Goals by Half                              1          2          F
Houston Dash                             0          0          0
Portland Thorns FC                     4          1          5 

Scoring Summary: 
POR: Horan (Heath), 7
POR: Raso (Heath), 12
POR: Sinclair (penalty kick), 18
POR: Raso (Purce), 23
POR: Own goal (Campbell), 71

Misconduct Summary:
HOU: Chapman (caution), 71

Lineups:
POR: GK Franch, D Ball, D Sonnett, D Menges, D Klingenberg, M Seiler (Andressinha, 68), M Horan, M Sinclair ©, F Raso (Lussi, 62), F Purce (Foord, 62), F Heath

Substitutes Not Used: GK Eckerstrom, D Hubly, M Boureille, M Brynjarsdottir

TOTAL SHOTS: 20 (Horan, Heath, 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 10 (Heath, 4); FOULS: 4 (Four players tied, 1), OFFSIDES: 4; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 4

HOU: GK Campbell, D Chapman, D Brooks ©, D Prisock, D Hanson, M Schmidt (Fields, 77), M Nairn (Ohai, 30), M Mewis, F Simon (Kizer, 31), F Huerta, F Daly

Substitutes Not Used: GK Henninger, D Agnew, D Murray, M Privett, F Fields

TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Daly, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Daly, 2); FOULS: 15 (Chapman, Mewis, 3), OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 6; SAVES: 6

Referee: Malik Badawi
Assistant Referees: Brooke Mayo, Melissa Gonzalez
4th Official: Stephanie Tercero
Attendance: 22,329
Weather: Sunny, 78 degrees

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial

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