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Thorns FC Earn 1-1 Road Draw against Houston Dash in Final West Division Match of 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup

May 3, 2021 - National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) - Portland Thorns FC News Release

HOUSTON - In their final West Division match in 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup play, Portland Thorns FC earned a 1-1 come-from-behind draw against the Houston Dash at BBVA Stadium on Sunday night. Christine Sinclair tallied her first goal of the season to secure the draw, helping Portland improve to 3-0-1 in the divisional round of the tournament.

2021 Challenge Cup Final Bound

Thorns FC (3-0-1, 10pts) will face off against NJ/NY Gotham FC (2-0-2, 8pts) in the 2021 Challenge Cup final on Saturday, May 8 at Providence Park. Thorns FC secured a spot in the final with three straight wins in the West Division, posting a 2-1 win over KC NWSL at Providence Park on April 9, a 1-0 road win at Chicago on April 15 and a 2-0 win over OL Reign at home on April 21. The match will mark Portland's fourth appearance in an NWSL final in nine seasons.

Sinclair Tied For Top Scorer In NWSL

With her goal against Houston, Sinclair tallied her 59th goal across all competitions in NWSL play, which is tied with North Carolina's Lynn Williams for the most amongst active players in the league. Sinclair has tallied 49 regular-season goals, three in the playoffs, one goal in Challenge Cup action and recorded six goals in the NWSL Fall series.

Thorns FC Against Houston

With the result, Portland improved to 11-3-4 against Houston in 18 matches played across all competitions dating back to April 15, 2014. Thorns FC are 4-1-4 in nine road matches played across all competitions in Houston.

Goal-Scoring Plays

HOU - Shea Groom, 45th+2 minute: Shea Groom latched onto a low pass in the box, taking a touch and firing a hard shot into the top right corner.

POR - Christine Sinclair, 77th minute: Simone Charley dummied a pass and carried the ball down the right flank before delivering a low cross into the box that was deflected and landed for Sinclair, who rolled her shot into the back of the net.


Portland is unbeaten in its last eight matches (6-0-2), dating back to a 3-0 win over Utah Royals FC in the NWSL Fall Series on Sept. 20, 2020.

Across those eight matches, Thorns FC have outscored its opponents 16-4.

Thorns FC are unbeaten in 2021 (3-0-1), including a 1-0-1 record on the road this year.

Christine Sinclair tallied her first goal of the 2021 campaign.

Sinclair is the sixth different player to score a goal for Portland in the 2021 Challenge Cup, joining Rocky Rodríguez, Tyler Lussi, Morgan Weaver, Lindsey Horan and Simone Charley.

The goal marked Sinclair's 59th goal across all competitions in NWSL play, which is tied with North Carolina's Lynn Williams for the most amongst active players in the league.

Meghan Klingenberg led all players in the match with four chances created.

Becky Sauerbrunn led all players 67 passes and an 88.1% passing accuracy.

Next Game

Thorns FC return home to host the NWSL Challenge Cup final against NJ/NY Gotham FC on Saturday, May 8, at Providence Park; kickoff is set for 10:00 a.m. (Pacific) and features a national television broadcast on CBS.

Portland Thorns FC vs. Houston Dash- 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup

May 2, 2021 - BBVA Stadium (Houston, Texas)

Goals by Half 1 2 F

Portland Thorns FC 0 1 1

Houston Dash 1 0 1

Scoring Summary:

HOU: Groom, 45+2

POR: Sinclair, 77

Misconduct Summary:

HOU: Groom (caution), 57

HOU: Chapman (caution), 90+3


POR: GK Franch, D Kuikka (Westphal, 45), D Hubly, D Sauerbrunn, D Klingenberg (Pogarch, 80), M Salem (Rodriguez, 61), M Horan, M Dunn, F Sinclair ©, F Smith (Weaver, 61), F Lussi (Charley, 45)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Bixby, D Nally, M Boureille, F Everett

TOTAL SHOTS: 14 (Sinclair, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Sinclair, Lussi, 2); FOULS: 7 (Rodriguez, 2); OFFSIDES: 5; CORNER KICKS: 8; SAVES: 1

HOU: GK Campbell, D Chapman, D Naughton, D Oyster, D Schmidt, M Hanson, M Groom, M Mewis (Seiler, 61), F Latsko (Visalli, 72), F Prince, F Daly©

Substitutes Not Used: GK Harris, D Prisock, D Fields, M Ogle, M Nairn, F Rosa, F Stengel

TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (three players tied, 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Groom, Visalli, 1); FOULS: 12 (Groom, Schmidt, 3); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 8; SAVES: 6

Referee: Elvis Osmanovic

Assistant Referees: Alicia Messer, Kaitlyn Trowbridge

4th Official: Melvin Rivas

Weather: Partly cloudy, 79 degrees

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial

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