Adrianna Franch and the Portland Thorns FC shutout the Orlando Pride 2-0 to take over the third spot in the National Women's Soccer League standings. Goals from Lindsey Horan and Hayley Raso helped Portland to their ninth win of the season. Prior to the match, Portland sat in fourth and Orlando was in third. With the win, Portland overtook third and Orlando dropped to fourth, one point ahead of the Chicago Red Stars for the last playoff position.
Orlando Pride fast start
The first 10 minutes of the match was dominated by the Orlando Pride. Orlando came out with major pressure on Portland’s defense and goalkeeper Adrianna Franch. Franch was able to hold off Orlando intercepting and clearing all crosses and corner kicks. “They came out, and for the first 10 minutes, I don’t know what [Orlando] ate before the game, but they came out and hit us really hard, and we just couldn’t get out,” Portland Thorns coach Mark Parsons said in the post-match press conference. Australian international Hayley Raso, was able to create some chances as Orlando’s first half pressure fizzled out. In the 17th minute, Raso hit the post on a shot she intercepted from a back pass from fellow Australian Alanna Kennedy. Kennedy’s back pass did not reach her goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris and Raso nearly made them pay for the mistake. In the 37th minute Raso would hit the crossbar. Her cross may have glanced off an Orlando defender but bounced off the top of the crossbar. The first half would end at 0-0.
Portland Thorns break through
In the 47th minute Portland was able to break through on a Lindsey Horan strike. It started on a short corner from Tobin Heath. Heath got the ball back from the corner and crossed into the crowded box. The ball bounced right to Horan who headed it home. The goal was Horan’s league leading 11th of the season, giving her the lead in the Golden Boot race. Heath was given an assist on the goal.
Raso was able to break through on her own by doubling the Portland lead in the 53rd minute. Raso received the ball from Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic in the midfield. Raso then streaked pass defender Alanna Kennedy going one-on-one with the Orlando goalkeeper. The Australian hit a low right footed shot into the bottom right corner of the net extending the Portland lead.
Adrianna Franch saved the match by denying the remaining of Orlando’s chances. Orlando superstar Marta sent a cross into the box from the right side that deflected off midfielder Emily Van Egmond forcing Franch to made a diving save. In the 84th minute Marta and fellow forward Alex Morgan combined to give the best chance for Orlando. A leaping Franch was able to get fingertips to Marta’s strike and tip it over the crossbar. Orlando could not find a way past Franch and Portland was able to earn her second shutout of the season.
The Orlando Pride will now travel to first place North Carolina Courage on Saturday August 18. Portland Thorns FC will host the Chicago Red Stars on August 18 as well.
Quote via: Timbers.com