The Portland Thorns defeated the Houston Dash at home 3-1 in a Sunday night battle to end week 16. Lindsey Horan was the hero for the Thorns, scoring a first-half brace which was enough to give Portland all three points. Kealia Ohai cut the deficit in half before halftime, but Ana Crnogorčević’s second-half goal put the Dash away for good.
Missed calls change the game
The score could have been very different due to missed calls and mistakes made by the ref during the game. The first came soon after the Dash scored in the first half to make it 2-1. Rachel Daly was fighting Thorns keeper Adrianna Franch for the ball and appeared to have been grabbed inside the box, a call that could have given the visitors a penalty kick and a goal to tie up the match. Instead, there was a no call and the score remained the same.
The Thorns had their own frustrations in the 70th minute after it appeared Haley Raso scored, the goal was called offside late. Players were visibly upset, even calling for video assisted referee which is not currently available in the NWSL.
Portland dominates score sheet and statistics
The Thorns outshot the Dash 19-9 and had eight shots on goal to the Dash’s four. Possession was dominated by Portland 61.4% while Houston had 38.6%.
Horan was the player of the game, scoring twice in the first half within 15 minutes. The first came off of a set piece when Emily Sonnett sent the ball into the box to Horan’s head where she headed it into the back of the net for her eighth goal of the season.
Horan’s second goal came off of another set piece, this time sent into the box by Tobin Heath. Heath sent the ball into Crnogorčević who headed it up. The ball hit the crossbar and bounced down to Horan who put it in the back of the net for her second of the match and her ninth overall. She is now tied with Sam Kerr of the Chicago Red Stars for the golden boot with nine goals and two assists on the season.
The Dash’s lone goal came in the 37th minute when Sofia Huerta sent the ball down the right flank to Taylor Comeau whose initial shot was saved by Franch, but Ohai was right there to pick up the rebound and score her third goal of the season.
The Thorns extended the lead in the 48th minute in the run of play. Raso dribbled up the right flank and had a give and go pass to Celeste Boureille. Raso got the ball back and sent a through ball to Crnogorčević who took a one touch shot past a diving Jane Campbell for the 3-1 lead.
Houston continues their road trip to take on the Washington Spirit Saturday July 21 with kickoff at 7:00 p.m. ET. Portland will also travel east to New Jersey to take on Sky Blue FC with kickoff also at 7:00 p.m. ET. Both matches will be streaming live on go90.