A second-half goal helped the Houston Dash earn a point at home against the reigning NWSL champions Portland Thorns Wednesday night. Thorns Swiss-international Ana-Maria Crnogorčević scored her first NWSL goal and Australian-international Kyah Simon scored her first of the season to complete the comeback.
Portland’s winless streak is now at four with their last win coming in April. The Thorns move to 2-2-3 (9 points) ahead of their next match. Houston is now 1-3-3 (6 points) and unbeaten in the month of May.
While Portland led possession 68.5% to 31.5% and shots 11-10, Houston led shots on goal 6-4, forcing Thorns keeper Britt Eckerstrom to make five saves. The teams were evenly matched in corner kicks with Portland having the 6-5 edge. Houston led the match in crosses with 15 to 12.
Thorns take the early lead, Dash answer back
Crnogorčević opened her scoring account in the 25thminute after chaos ensued in the box. Midge Purce dribbled around her Dash defender and sent the ball into the box. After a scramble by both teams, Thorns captain Christine Sinclair gained possession and passed it to Crnogorčević who put it past goalkeeper Jane Campbell.
Houston answered back in the second half scoring in two straight matches for the first time this season. In the 57th minute, Veronica Latsko passed the ball to Simon who was running to the right. Simon took the tight angle and send the ball past Eckerstrom into the back of the net to tie up the match.
Portland had the best chance late in the game to take the lead in the 81st minute. A Portland corner kick found its way to Lindsey Horan who headed it towards goal. It was a sure-goal until Houston defender Janine van Wyk cleared it over the cross bar with a header.
Welcome returns and appearances
Portland did make progress with the welcomed starts of Tobin Heath and Andressinha who have both missed time with injury. Heath played 64 minutes and Andressinha played 66 minutes before both being substituted out.
Australian Ellie Carpenter came on as a sub for the Thorns in the 71stminute. Carpenter, who turned 18 less than a month ago, becomes the youngest NWSL player to debut at 18 years and 11 days.
Houston didn’t see action from Kealia Ohai or newly re-acquired Allysha Chapman, but Kristie Mewis and Rachel Daly made significant impacts in the midfield and on the front line, respectively, after starting the season on the backline.
Both teams will be back in action on Saturday. The Thorns will host the Orlando Pride at home in a playoff rematch for the Lifetime Game of the Week. Coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. ET on Lifetime. Houston will travel north to take on the Chicago Red Stars for the third and final time this season. Kick-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. CT with coverage on go90.