Midweek Wins for Houston Dash and Portland Thorns 29th July
Houston Dash 3 – 2 Kansas City
Lauren Holiday 3′ (Kansas City)
Ellie Brush 12′ (Houston Dash)
Jessica McDonald 16′ (Houston Dash)
Sarah Hagen 83′ (Kansas City)
Carli Lloyd 85′ (Houston Dash)
The 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Golden Ball winner continued her goalscoring romp and produced a rocketed shot from 30 yards out in the 87th minute to pull out at 3-2 win for the Houston Dash against FC Kansas City on Wednesday night at BBVA Compass Stadium.
The Dash fell behind early in just the third minute as Heather O’Reilly picked out Lauren Holiday at the top of the box. Dash goalkeeper Erin McLeod dove left for Holiday’s shot, but it deflected off the inside of defender Ellie Brush’s foot on its way to goal and caromed the opposite direction and into the goal.
Brush atoned for the unlucky bounce less than 10 minutes after. Dash forward Kealia Ohai saved a ball in the corner and floated a cross to the middle of the penalty area in the 12th minute. Brush, still forward from a corner kick, picked the ball out of the air with a nifty side-volley around her defender to beat FCKC keeper Nicole Barnhart. The goal was Brush’s first in the NWSL.
The Dash followed up shortly thereafter with Jessica McDonald adding her team-leading sixth goal of the season in the 17th minute. Racing down the left side of the field, McDonald cut into the box and beat Barnhart with a near post shot from close range.
Kansas City and the Dash traded chances throughout much of the rest of the game. McLeod, fresh off a 12 save performance against the Western New York Flash on Saturday, was called into action five times on the night, including a full-stretch, diving punch on a shot from Holiday curling away from the keeper. Barnhart did her part as well, getting a toe on a one-on-one attempt from McDonald in the 56th minute to keep the deficit at one.
FCKC began to put more pressure on as the game wore on, finally paying off in the 85th minute of play. Liz Bogus received a pass in the box and banged a shot off the near post, but the ball rebounded directly to substitute forward Sarah Hagen. With McLeod out of position after diving for the initial shot, Hagen passed the ball into the open net for the equalizing goal.
The joy was short lived for Kansas City, as Lloyd scored in her seventh consecutive match and her second game-winner in a row just two minutes later. Lloyd received a pass from Niki Cross—playing in her final game in Houston after announcing her retirement—and took a touch into space 30 yards from goal. Lloyd hammered the ball into the upper 90 to put the Dash ahead for good.
The win vaulted the Dash over FC Kansas City in the NWSL standings, into the fourth and final playoff spot. Houston travels to take on the third-place Washington Spirit on Saturday.
Western New York Flash 0 – 2 Portland Thorns
Christine Sinclair 32′ (Portland Thorns)
Allie Long 80′ (Portland Thorns)
Behind goals from forward Christine Sinclair and midfielder Allie Long, Portland Thorns FC secured a 2-0 shutout on the road against the Western New York Flash in front of 2,979 fans on Wednesday night at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, N.Y.
Sinclair gave Portland a 1-0 lead in the first half and Long added a goal late in the second half to move Thorns FC up to sixth place in the NWSL standings through 14 games. With the win, Portland improves to 4-6-4 (16pts) overall, leapfrogging the Flash (4-7-3, 15pts) in the standings with six games remaining on the regular-season schedule.
After seeing several close chances miss in the first half, Thorns FC took a 1-0 lead in the 33rd minute. Receiving a ball from forward Ayo, Sinclair took a quick touch and chipped a left-footed shot near the edge of the penalty box over goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo, who was off her line. The assist was the first of Ayo’s NWSL and Thorns FC career, while Sinclair netted her second goal of the season.
Thorns FC nearly doubled their lead in the 36th minute when Sinclair was knocked down in the box by midfielder Becky Edwards and drew a penalty kick. Long stepped to the spot to take the kick, but D’Angelo dove to her left to make the save. Near the end of the first half, Sinclair changed the point of attack with a cross for midfielder Sinead Farrelly inside the box. Farrelly cut the ball back and fired a shot that hit off the underside of the crossbar and out.
Remaining on the front foot in the second half, Ayo and Sinclair linked up again this time in the 49th minute. After a quick flick in the box over the top by Sinclair, Ayo hit a looping shot over D’Angelo, but defender Whitney Engen tracked back and cleared the ball off the goal line.
Making her 10th start of the season, goalkeeper Michelle Betos made four saves in the match, earning her second clean sheet of the season. Betos made critical stops in both halves, including a save less than 10 minutes into the match to deny forward Lynn Williams on the breakaway and then again in the 59th minute, cutting down the angle on forward Jasmyne Spencer’s attempt inside the goal box.
Long tallied her team-leading sixth goal of the season, while Sinclair registered her first assist of the 2015 campaign in the 80th minute. Sinclair juggled the ball over a Flash defender and dribbled into the box before slotting a pass back across the box for Long to finish from close range, giving Portland a 2-0 lead.
Thorns FC improve to 3-1-3 all-time against the Flash, including a record of 1-0-2 on the road. The win at Sahlen’s Stadium was the first for Portland during regular-season play since 2013.
Portland returns to the Rose City for back-to-back home matches beginning with a midweek contest against the Boston Breakers on Wednesday, Aug. 5, at Providence Park. Kickoff for Wednesday’s match is 7 p.m. (Pacific) with a web stream broadcast on www.FOXSportsGO.com and on tablets and mobile devices via the FOX Sports Go app.
Source courtesy of: nwslsoccer.com
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