The Portland Thorns and the Houston Dash played in front of an almost capacity crowd at Providence Park on Sunday night. The game started out a little slow as each team was trying to feel each other out and trying not to give up the early goal. After the slow start Portland started to find Veronica Boquete and she used her foot skills to break down Houston's defense and find open players on the wings.
Despite Portland starting to get on the ball more they were not able to find the back of the net in the first half. They did have two shouts for penalties when Christine Sinclair was brought down from behind in the box and when a cross it the arm of a defender but neither was deemed a foul by the referee. When the second half started the Portland Thorns looked like they wanted to set the tone and dictate the flow of the game. The uptick in energy and runs off the ball lead to a few good early chances and finally the goal in the 54th minute. A cross from Stephanie Catley found Boquete near the far post and she easily put it into the back of the net.
Portland had a few other chances to put the game away but Houston's keeper made two crucial saves to keep them in the game. Those saves allowed Houston to throw numbers forward during the final 10 minutes of the game to try and nab the equalizer. Portland was able to limit Houston's chances and kept any shots from troubling Nadine Angerer and they ushered the game out for the 1-0 victory.
The win puts Portland 5 points ahead of 5th place Chicago and in commanding lead for the final playoff spot. It also puts them within 1 point of third place.