PORTLAND, Ore.—The Houston Dash dropped their third 1-0 result to Portland Thorns FC, this time in front of an NWSL-record crowd of 19,123 at Providence Park. With the loss, the Dash are mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.
After a rocky start to the game, Houston was able to pick up momentum moving through the first half of the game. In the 15th minute of the match, Meghan Klingenberg served a ball into the box after Portoland corner clearance that found the foot of Becky Edwards, just missing the goal wide. Kealia Ohai provided a cross minutes later that caused a moment of panic in the Thorns box, as Melissa Henderson nearly beat goalkeeper Nadine Angerer to the ball but ultimately couldn’t get a touch.
Whitney Engen and Osinachi Ohale kept the Houston backline organized and strong with several defensive stops on the Thorns offense throughout the half. The Dash’s Kaylyn Kyle found herself in front of the goal with the ball at her feet only to be called offside in the 37th minute.
Momentum shifted in Portland’s favor following halftime as the Thorns outshot the Dash 13-4 in the second half.
Opportunity arose for the Thorns in the 54th minute of the match as Steph Catley played a precise cross into the box from her wide position for Veronica Boquete, who hit the ball with her first touch low and into the corner of the goal for the lead. Portland knew what to do with the one goal lead, as they had played to 1-0 victories in their two matches earlier in the season against the Dash.
Houston pressed to overturn that familiar scoreline and looked like they might have after forward Tiffany McCarty buried a shot in the back of the net in the 80th minute, but the ball was brought back out without celebration as the offside whistle blew.
The Thorns looked to add to their lead late in the second half, forcing Houston into several good stops. Erin McLeod came up with stops against Meleana Shim and Alex Morgan, and Ohale redirected another late Morgan shot off the back post for McLeod to collect.
Next up for the Dash is a trip just up the Pacific coast for a Wednesday night match against Seattle Reign FC, while Portland travels to Boston to face the Breakers next Sunday.
Houston Dash vs. Portland Thorns
August 3, 2014 – Providence Park
NWSL Regular Season
PTFC: Verónica Boquete 4 (Stephanie Catley 5) 54
HOU: Becky Edwards (caution) 45
PTFC: Nikki Marshall (caution) 90
Portland Thorns FC: Nadine Angerer, Rebecca Moros, Nikki Marshall, Emily Menges, Stephanie Catley; Allie Long, Amber Brooks, Verónica Boquete, Meleana Shim (Sarah Huffman 82); Christine Sinclair ©, Alex Morgan (Jessica McDonald 89)
Substitutes Not Used: Michelle Betos, Angie Kerr, Jackie Acevedo, Hanna Terry
Houston Dash: Erin McLeod ©; Arianna Romero, Whitney Engen, Osinachi Ohale, Meghan Klingenberg; Jordan Jackson (Kelly McFarlane 75), Kaylyn Kyle, Becky Edwards; Kealia Ohai, Nina Burger (Stephanie Ochs 24), Melissa Henderson (Tiffany McCarty 75)
Substitutes Not Used: Bianca Henninger, Marissa Diggs, Kika Toulouse, Ella Masar
Referee: Katja Koroleva
Referee Assistants: Eduardo Mariscal, Farhad Dadkho
Fourth Official: J.J. Blodgett