NWSL MATCH RECAP | Portland Thorns FC 3, Chicago Red Stars 0

PORTLAND, Ore. – Receiving a brace from Midge Purce and a goal from Christine Sinclair, Portland Thorns FC secured a 3-0 win against the Chicago Red Starts in front of 17,542 fans at Providence Park on Sunday afternoon. Sinclair tallied her team-leading ninth goal of the season, while Purce increased her season total to eight goals. 

Recent form
Portland (10-3-6, 36pts) extended its home unbeaten streak to six games (5-0-1), recording two or more goals for the fifth time during that stretch with three goals against Chicago in the match. During that span, six different players have scored goals for Thorns FC, including five goals from Sinclair. Over its last 10 games overall, Portland is 6-2-2. 

Sinclair goals
Sinclair recorded her ninth goal of the season in the match, which ranks second in the NWSL in 2019. In 18 career games against Chicago, Sinclair has tallied 14 goals. With nine goals this season, Sinclair tied her single-season career high for goals, set during the 2018 season. 

Strong defense
Thorns FC recorded their sixth shutout of the season in the match. The team’s six shutouts are tied for the third-most in the league this season. Thorns FC surrendered just two shots on target in the match and did not allow a shot on goal over the final 45 minutes. Defensively, Portland has allowed just seven goals at home in 2019, which is tied for the second-fewest in the NWSL. 

Against Chicago
With the win, Portland is now unbeaten in its last 17 games (8-0-9) against Chicago, posting a record of 2-0-1 during the 2019 regular season. In three matches against the Red Stars this season, Thorns FC have scored 10 goals, registering two shutouts. At Providence Park, Portland is 6-1-3 all-time against Chicago. 

Key plays
In the ninth minute, Purce won the ball just outside Portland’s box, dribbled between two defenders to the end line and played a cross to the back post for Tobin Heath, who connected with a header that was saved near the goal line by Chicago goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher.

Thorns FC grabbed a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute. Purce received a pass in midfield, dribbled to the edge of the box and passed it to Meghan Klingenberg running down the left side. Klingenberg slotted the ball to Heath, who sent a quick one-touch pass to Sinclair making a late run into the box. Sinclair calmly settled the ball, dribbled around a Chicago defender and lifted her shot over Naeher for her ninth goal of the season.

In the 24th minute, Heath played a cross from the left edge of the box to Hayley Raso at the right post. Raso headed the ball back to the middle of the goal and Purce deposited a header into the back of the net from close range to give Portland a 2-0 lead.

Thorns FC increased their lead to 3-0 in the 56th minute as Purce tallied her second goal of the game. Sinclair chased down a loose ball just outside the box and fired a shot from the left corner of the box. Naeher pushed the swerving strike off the crossbar, but Purce came surging into the box and finished from close range.

Next match
Following a FIFA international window, Thorns FC travel for a road match against Utah Royals FC on Friday, Sept. 6, at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. Beginning at 6:30 p.m. (Pacific), the match will be broadcast on Yahoo! Sports.

Portland Thorns FC (10-3-6, 36pts) vs. Chicago Red Stars (9-8-2, 32pts)
Aug. 25, 2019 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)

Goals by Half                              1          2          F
Portland Thorns FC                     2          1          3
Chicago Red Stars                      0          0          0 

Scoring Summary:
POR: Sinclair (Heath), 12
POR: Purce, 24
POR: Purce, 56

Misconduct Summary:
CHI: Stanton (caution), 63
POR: Heath (caution), 70
CHI: Nagasato (caution), 84

POR: GK Franch, D Carpenter (Reynolds, 73), D Sonnett, D Menges, D Klingenberg, M Brynjarsdottir, M Horan, M Sinclair ©, F Raso (Crnogorcevic, 85), F Purce (Charley, 62), F Heath

Substitutes Not Used: GK Eckerstrom, D Ball, F Foord, F Lussi

TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Purce, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 9 (Purce, 3); FOULS: 10 (Heath, 3); OFFSIDES: 4; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 2

CHI: GK Naeher, D Short, D Gorden, D Naughton (Goralski, 79), D Davidson, M Ertz ©, M Brian, M McCaskill (Stanton, 61), M DiBernardo (Elby, 59), F Nagasato, F Kerr

Substitutes Not Used: GK Arnold, D Wright, M Colaprico, M Stanton, F Johnson

TOTAL SHOTS: 17 (Ertz, 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Davidson, Ertz, 1); FOULS: 10 (Stanton, 2); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 9; SAVES: 6

Referee: Lukasz Szpala
Assistant Referees: Katarzyna Wasiak, Tiffini Turpin
4th Official: Chad Stewart
Attendance: 17,542
Weather: Sunny, 75 degrees

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial