Playing their third consecutive road match, Portland Thorns FC scored a pair of goals in a six-minute span in the second half to earn a 2-0 win over the Orlando Pride at Orlando City Stadium on Saturday night. Lindsey Horan tallied her NWSL-leading 11th goal of the season to open the scoring in the 47th minute, while Hayley Raso recorded her second goal of the season as Portland moved up to third place in the NWSL standings with four games remaining on its regular-season schedule.
With the win, Thorns FC moved two points ahead of Orlando in the NWSL standings into a third-place position. In addition, Portland holds the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Pride after earning its second win in three meetings in 2018. Thorns FC currently trail second-place Seattle Reign FC (36pts) by four points and are three points ahead of the Chicago Red Stars (29pts) in fifth place.
Portland improved to 5-1-1 all-time in regular-season matches against Orlando with the win, including a mark of 2-0-1 on the road against the Pride. Thorns FC have registered a shutout in two of their three matches on the road against Orlando, outscoring the Pride, 4-1. Individually, Horan scored her second goal in three meetings this season and her fourth goal in seven career appearances against Orlando.
Horan scored for a fourth consecutive match, including her eighth goal in her last 10 appearances. She currently sits alone as the top scorer in the NWSL with 11 goals. With the goal, Horan tied the Thorns FC single-season record for goals established in 2014. The goal was also the 20th of Horan’s career for Portland, which made her just the third player in club history to reach the 20-goal mark.
Raso nearly capitalized on a defensive error by Orlando defender Alanna Kennedy in the 17th minute when Kennedy attempted to pass the ball back to Pride goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris inside the box. Raso pounced on the back pass, firing a shot from a tight angle at the left post, but her shot bounced off the inside of the post and was cleared by Orlando.
Adrianna Franch kept the Pride from scoring early with a key stop in the 19th minute. Marta lined up a free kick along the edge of the right side of the box and curled a shot towards the left top corner of the goal. Franch dove across the goal, knocking the ball away with her left hand and Ellie Carpenter cleared the ball up to midfield.
Building down the right side in the 36th minute, Raso again came close to scoring as she hit the woodwork for a second time in the opening half. Surging down the right wing after receiving a pass from Carpenter, Raso delivered a cross into the box, attempting to play the ball to Tobin Heath making a run to the back post, but her cross bent in toward the goal and hit off the crossbar.
Thorns FC took a 1-0 lead less than two minutes into the second half on a corner kick. Playing a short corner, Heath quickly played the ball to Klingenberg and she played the ball back to Heath, who sent a cross into the box from the left wing. Horan came flying into the box and finished at the goal line for her NWSL-leading 11th goal of the season.
Portland doubled its lead in the 53rd minute as Raso tallied her second goal of the season. Against the run of play, Crnogorcevic flicked the ball on for Raso just outside Orlando’s box. Raso dribbled past her defender before slotting the ball past a diving Harris from the edge of the box inside the right post. Less than a minute before Raso scored, Sinclair just missed recording Thorns FC’s second goal of the match as Heath provided a back-heel pass to Sinclair inside the box, but her shot skipped wide of the left post.
Franch again kept the Pride off the board with another save. Marta unleashed a shot from the right edge of the box and it took a deflection off Emily Van Egmond a point-blank range, forcing a diving stop by Franch to parry the ball out for a corner kick in the 63rd minute.
Pushing for another goal, Caitlin Foord created a quality scoring chance after entering the match as a second-half substitute. Collecting the ball near the edge of the box, Foord cut the ball onto her right foot, sending a curling strike just wide of the right post in the 65th minute.
Remaining on the front foot, Heath created another scoring opportunity for Portland in the 80th minute. Thorns FC quickly played the ball out to Foord on the right side. She dribbled toward the end line and delivered a low, hard cross into the box for Heath making a run towards goal, but Heath sent her shot just wide of the right post.
Franch, who finished the match with six saves, helped Portland earn its second clean sheet in its last five games as she denied Marta late in the second half. Marta dribbled down the left side of the field and delivered a left-footed strike, but Franch jumped to tip the ball over the crossbar with her right hand in the 89th minute.
Thorns FC return to the Rose City to play host to the Chicago Red Stars on Saturday, Aug. 18, at Providence Park. The Aug. 18 match kicks off at 7:30 p.m. (Pacific) and features a national television broadcast on ESPNEWS.
Portland Thorns FC (9-6-5, 32pts) vs. Orlando Pride (8-7-6, 30pts)
Aug. 11, 2018 – Orlando City Stadium (Orlando, Fla.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Thorns FC 0 2 2
Orlando Pride 0 0 0
POR: Horan (Heath), 47
POR: Raso (Crnogorcevic), 53
POR: Sinclair (caution), 27
ORL: Marta (caution), 73
POR: GK Franch, D Carpenter (Purce, 76), D Sonnett, D Menges, D Klingenberg, M Boureille, M Horan, M Raso (Andressinha, 87), M Sinclair ©, M Heath, F Crnogorcevic (Foord, 55)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Eckerstrom, D Ball, F Lussi, F Weber
TOTAL SHOTS: 17 (Raso, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Three players tied, 1); FOULS: 7 (Heath, Sinclair, 2), OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 8; SAVES: 6
ORL: GK Harris ©, D Krieger, D Kennedy, D Pressley (Pickett, 80), M Edmonds (Hill, 68), M Zadorsky, M Ubogagu (Camila, 59), M Weatherholt, M Van Egmond, F Morgan, F Marta
Substitutes Not Used: GK Kopmeyer, D Monica, M Nairn, F Evans
TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (Marta, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Marta, 3); FOULS: 8 (Marta, 3); OFFSIDES: 4; CORNER KICKS: 9; SAVES: 1
Referee: Katja Koroleva
Assistant Referees: Matthew Osterhouse, Trent Robert Van Hatisma
4th Official: Erika Barahona
Weather: Sunny, 85 degrees