Portland Thorns FC broke a three-match losing streak with a 2-0 win over Western New York Flash at Sahlen Stadium Wednesday night. Portland finished a stretch of three games in a week with a valuable three points and its first regular-season win in Rochester, to climb into sixth place in the table baring other results.
Christine Sinclair scored her first goal since returning to Portland from the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, and Portland’s first goal in three games, in the 33rd minute. Ayo Añonma lofted a ball over the Flash backline and Sinclair, seeing goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo off her line, chipped a shot just inside the left post for the lead. Sinclair then turned provider for Allie Long in the 80th minute. After collecting a deflected pass, Sinclair pushed forward before playing a simple square pass for Long to bury into the net. The goal marked Long’s sixth of the season and Sinclair’s first assist.
Portland nearly went into halftime with a 2-0 lead, when Sinclair earned a penalty kick just three minutes after her goal. However, Long’s shot was saved by D’Angelo. Long took a slow approach, waiting for the keeper to move, but D’Angelo dove to her left to make the low save.
The Thorns created the most dangerous opportunities in the match, with Añonma coming close in the 40th minute before Sinead Farrelly hit the crossbar just before halftime. Western New York came closest in the ninth minute when Lynn Williams broke through the Thorns defense, but goalkeeper Michelle Betos was able to get low to make the save.
Betos returned to the starting lineup for Portland and registered her first shutout of the season. Portland outshot the Flash 9-7. Farrelly also started after withdrawing from Sunday’s match against the Seattle Reign, while the Flash were without forward Sydney Leroux as she recovers from knee surgery.
Updates to follow…