Forward Christine Sinclair scored her first goal of 2016 as Portland Thorns FC earned a point on the road in a 1-1 draw with Chicago Red Stars Sunday night at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL. Sinclair opened the scoring in the first half before Red Stars forward Christen Press equalized in the second half.
Portland (3-0-5, 14pts) dominated possession early in the first half and were rewarded for their high pressure with the opening goal in the 24th minute as Sinclair scored on her birthday. Sinclair tracked down a weak back pass toward goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher and bravely took a clearance into the body which rebounded into the net.
Chicago (4-1-3, 15pts) came out with more energy in the second half, pressing as Portland did in the first. The equalizer came in the 61st minute when Press turned and hit a half volley at the top of the box. The shot was hit straight at Thorns goalkeeper Adrianna Franch who palmed the ball onto the crossbar. But the ball bounced back into play and spun into the net to tie the game at 1-1. Press now leads the league in goals scored (5) as the Red Stars move up into a tie for first place. Portland moves into a tie for second place with the Washington Spirit.
The Thorns continue their great record in Chicago having not lost in six visits. Thorns FC remains the lone unbeaten club in the league, but have now earned a league-high five draws.
Portland will now face a second-straight road test as the team travels to Rochester, NY to take on the Western New York Flash Friday, June 17. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:00pm (Pacific).
Updates to follow...