NWSL: Portland Thorns beat Western New York, end win streak
The National Women’s Soccer League’s Portland Thorns beat Western New York, ending the Flash’s three match win streak with a 2-0 victory.
Portland Thorns moved into second place in the NWSL after defeating the red hot Western New York Flash in Rochester, New York. Portland Thorns are no unbeaten in all nine matches thus far in the NWSL season, though sit one point behind league leaders Chicago Red Stars.
Portland Thorns took the lead in the second half through Canadian international Christine Sinclair on 48 minutes. Portland never looked back in the match as the Thorns held Western New York to seven shots on goal. Thorns’ Nadia Nadim put the match to bed in the 73rd minute from the penalty spot as Portland continued their excellent performances under coach Mark Parsons. The clean sheet was Adrianna Franch’s third of the season.
Chicago Red Stars ran their own unbeaten run to eight matches with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over the hapless Boston Breakers. Chicago’s Sofia Huerta scored a hat-trick as the Red Stars completely dominated Boston during the 90 minutes. Chicago goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher recorded her league leading fifth clean sheet of 2016 as the Red Stars solidified their claim as the best team in the NWSL this term.
Portland Thorns will host Chicago Red Stars next week in a match up of the NWSL’s top teams in 2016. The Match could be a preview of this year’s NWSL final later this season.
Washington Spirit got back to winning ways with a 2-0 win over Orlando Pride. The win takes Washington to 17 points and into third place. The Spirit had this match wrapped up in the opening 45 minutes thanks to goals from Argentinian Estefania Banini and Nigerian Francisca Ordega.
Banini tallied her first goal of the season in the ninth minute as she struck a well placed shot past Pride goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris. Ordega, playing for only the second time this season, double the Spirit’s lead in the 40th minute. Ordega’s defensive pressure paid off as she won the ball in midfield before gliding past two Pride defenders and slotting home past Harris. Washington saw out the second half with little trouble from the Pride.
Sky Blue FC held Seattle Reign to a nil-nil draw as the two mid-table sides failed to carve out many clear goal scoring opportunities. The draw saw Seattle and US international Hope Solo notch her fourth clean sheet of the season.
FC Kansas City picked up its second win of 2016 against Houston Dash with a 1-0 victory in Texas. The win moved Kansas City ahead of Houston in the NWSL table as both teams look for a spark to propel them into playoff contention.
Kansas City defender Becky Sauerbrunn scored the lone goal of the game, as her header beat Dash goalkeeper Lydia Williams in the 81st minute. US international Heather O’Reilly swung in a corner kick that found Sauerbrunn’s head, before landing safely in the back of Houston’s net.
Kansas City will play Seattle Reign next week, while Houston will travel to Orlando to take on the Pride.
As with all NWSL games, fans can watch all the matches in full on YouTube.
Follow Drew Farmer on Twitter @DrewMFarmer. Check out his latest book, Soccer Travels, in paperback and on Kindle at Amazon.com.