Portland Thorns FC conceded an early goal against the Houston Dash and were unable to mount a comeback, falling 3-0 in front of 5,561 fans on Saturday night at BBVA Compass Stadium.
The meeting was the first of two between Portland (7-2-5, 26pts) and Houston (3-7-1, 13pts) this season and Thorns FC’s eighth road match of the 2016 season. Portland looked dangerous in the opening minutes as midfielder Hayley Raso created two scoring chances, sending a shot wide of the target in the fourth minute and again in the 15th minute, chasing down a back pass to the Houston goalkeeper and delivering a shot just past the left post.
The Dash tallied a goal in the first half and added a pair in the second half to register the win as forward Rachel Daly and midfielders Amber Brooks and Kealia Ohai all scored goals for Houston. Daly opened the scoring in the seventh minute, collecting a pass in the box from Ohai and finishing off the underside of the crossbar.
Thorns FC nearly equalized in the 25th minute. Dribbling down the right side, midfielder Mallory Weber slotted a well-timed cross to the feet of forward Nadia Nadim. The Danish international did well to hold off her defender and lay the ball off for midfielder Celeste Boureille, but Boureille sent her close-range attempt just over the crossbar. Minutes later, goalkeeper Michelle Betos, who finished the match with five saves, kept Houston off the board with a diving save in the 27th minute, pushing Daly’s free kick from the edge of the box just wide of the right post.
The Dash doubled their lead midway through the second half. Brooks finished a cross into the box by defender Becca Moros at the back post in the 68th minute, while Ohai added the third goal in the 83rd minute, sending a close-range shot off the fingertips of a diving Betos into the back of the net.
Thorns FC return to the Rose City for their next match at Providence Park on Saturday, July 30, against Seattle Reign FC. The match on July 30 kicks off at 7:30 p.m. (Pacific) and features a live web stream at www.thornsfc.com.
- Defender Kat Williamson made her 65th career NWSL start and her 45th career start for Thorns FC in the match.
- Midfielder Maureen Fitzgerald earned her first professional start in the match, making her second appearance this season for Portland.
- Defender Jennifer Skogerboe made her first NWSL start and her first start for Portland in the match.
- Defender Emily Menges and forward Nadia Nadim are the only two players to start all 14 matches for Portland this season.
- Goalkeeper Michelle Betos registered four or more saves in a match for the 10th time in her Thorns FC career.