(Running) International Notebook: World Cup qualifying, derbies against Mexico highlight Thorns' international challenges

Lindsey Horan, Emily Sonnett, USA vs. Mexico, 4.5.18

Seven Thorns FC players will be active during the current FIFA international break, with players from Australia (Ellie Carpenter, Hayley Raso) and Brazil (Andressinha) competing in qualifying tournaments for next summer’s World Cup in France.

Four other Thorns – Ana Crnogorčević, Lindsey Horan, Christine Sinclair and Emily Sonnett – will take part in high-profile friendlies over the next week, with all four due to return to Portland head of the team’s home opener on April 15 against the Orlando Pride.

Over the break, we’ll keep updating you on how Thorns players perform for their countries, with the first of their matches scheduled to take place Thursday, April 5.

Completed games

April 13, 2018, Australia 1, Japan 1 - Sam Kerr's late goal cancelled out Mizuho Sakaguchi's opener to earn the Matildas the point they needed to qualify for the 2019 World Cup. Ellie Carpenter started at right back and went the distance, with Hayley Raso coming off the bench in the second half as Australia secured first place in the Asian Cup's Group B. That place not only clinched a spot in next summer's tournament in France but also a place in the Asian Cup's semifinals.

Brazil 7, Bolivia 0 - Andressinha started and scored twice before being subbed off in the 65th minute as Copa America's favorites secured first place in Group B and a spot in the tournament's final round. Paris Saint-Germain's Érika matched Andressinha's brace, with Andressa Alves, Millene and Aline Milene scoring Brazil's remaining goals. Brazil open the tournament's final round against Chile on April 16.

April 11, 2018, Brazil 4, Venezuela 0 - Thorns midfielder Andressinha started and went the full 90 as the tournament favorites ran their Copa América record to 3-0-0, defeating Venezuela to stay top of Group B. Bia Zaneratto scored twice for Brazil, raising her tournament total to five, while Marta and Monica each added single goals.

April 10, 2018, Australia 8, Vietnam 0 - The troubles Australia had breaking through in their scoreless Asian Cup opener against South Korea had completely dissipated by the time the Matildas kicked off against Vietnam, with the tournament favorites putting five on the scoresheet before halftime en route to an eight-goal win. Ellie Carpenter was in the starting XI for Alen Stajic, while Hayley Raso came off the bench in the second half, eventually scoring her team's final goal.

April 9, 2018, France 1, Canada 0 - Christine Sinclair started a captained Canada in Lorient, where an early penalty converted by Eugenie Le Sommer gave France their winning margin. France was awarded a second penalty in the 78th minute, but former Thorns midfielder Amandine Henry failed to beat Stephanie Labbé, keeping Canada within one.

April 8, 2018, United States 6, Mexico 2 - Lindsey Horan and Emily Sonnett started as the United States, despite briefly falling behind in the first half, put up its second-straight lopsided result. Horan had a goal but had to leave the match just before intermission with a lower-leg injury. Sonnett went 75 minutes as the U.S. also got goals from Carli Lloyd (her 100th career), Alex Morgan (two), Mallory Pugh and Megan Rapinoe.

April 7, 2018, Australia 0, South Korea 0 - Although the Matildas were stymied in their Asian Cup opener, news was slightly better for Thorns fans, who saw Hayley Raso return from injury to claim a spot in Australia's starting lineup. Ellie Carpenter made the bench as Raso went 56 minutes, with the tournament favorites unable to break through in Amman.

Brazil 8, Ecuador 0 - Andressinha saw her first action of Copa America and scored Brazil's third goal as South America's favorites moved to 2-0-0 in the competition. Fellow NSWLer Debinha also got on the scoresheet, as did Cristiane (twice), Bia Zaneratto (twice), Formiga and Raffaele as Brazil moved three points clear atop their group.

April 5, 2018: United States 4, Mexico 1 - Both Lindsey Horan and Emily Sonnett started for head coach Jill Ellis as the women's national team ran its unbeaten streak to 12 games. Sonnett got her second straight start at right back while Horan, in her customary central midfield spot, assisted on two of the Americans' goals. Alex Morgan accounted for two scores while Mallory Pugh and Carli Lloyd each added one.

Brazil 3, Argentina 1 - Andressinha was in the team but failed to appear for Brazil, which opened their World Cup qualifying campaign at Copa America with a win over their rivals. Bia Zaneratto's goal in the 10th minute gave the favorites the lead before Argentina equalized eight minutes into the second half. Cristiane's penalty conversion two minutes later derailed Argentina's upset hopes, with North Carolina Courage midfielder Debinha adding stoppage time insurance.

Switzerland 1, Scotland 0 - Crnogorčević made her first international appearance since signing with Thorns FC, going 90 minutes at right back as the Swiss defeated Scotland in Schaffhausen. Wolfsburg midfielder Lara Dickenmann scored the game's only goal as Switzerland moved nine points clear at the top of their 2019 World Cup qualifying group.

Scheduled games
Monday, April 16

Brazil (Andressinha) open Copa America's final stage against the host nation, Chile.

Tuesday, April 17

Australia (Carpenter, Raso) face Thailand in Asian Cup's semifinal, with the winner meeting either China or Japan on April 20.

Thursday, April 19

Brazil's (Andressinha) face Colombia in the second match of Copa America's final group stage.

Sunday, April 22

Brazil (Andressinha) close its Copa America against Argentina, the team they faced to open the competition on April 5.