HOUSTON — The Houston Dash and Portland Thorns FC had a back-and-forth affair at BBVA Compass Stadium end in a scoreless draw on Saturday night.
Portland came out of the gates eager to avenge their 1-0 loss to the Dash just two weeks prior at Providence Park, and put Houston under pressure throughout the first half.
In the 27th minute, Ayo finally got past the central pairing and was alone with Dash goalkeeper Bianca Henninger, but her shot curled away from the goalline and past the far post. Five minutes later, Thorns midfielder Allie Long was played into the box by Rachel Van Hollebeke and had a clear path to goal. Henninger charged off her line and made a sliding kick save to deny Long and keep the scoreline level.
Henninger was called into action once more in the 40th minute. Off a partially cleared corner kick, Thorns winger Taylor Comeau unleashed a powerful shot from 25 yards away that seemed destined to tuck under the crossbar. Henninger leapt to her right to get a hand on the shot and tip it over the woodwork.
Just before halftime, the Dash nearly snuck out a goal. Dash outside back Camila, a 20-year-old Brazilian making her NWSL debut after arriving in Houston earlier this week, collected a cleared Portland free kick and raced into the open field. She found Tiffany McCarty inside the box, who made a pair of defenders miss and was alone with Thorns keeper Michelle Betos. Her shot deflected but fell to Jessica McDonald three yards from goal with an empty net, but that shot scuffed off her foot and went wide.
The second half was a more even affair, but the Dash looked to have the upper hand in the 54th minute as referee Danielle Chesky pointed to the spot for a Houston penalty kick. Melissa Henderson had picked up a loose ball and charged into the box, but was brought down from behind by defender Emily Menges. Kealia Ohai stepped up to take the place kick, but Betos dove to her right to block the attempt. It was the second penalty missed for the Dash in consecutive weeks.
This was the final meeting between the two sides in the regular season, with the Dash taking four of an available six points from the Thorns. Both teams enter a break for Women’s World Cup group play, but return to action in two weeks’ time. Portland plays host to FC Kansas City on June 19, while the Dash are back at home against the Western New York Flash on June 20.
Houston Dash (2-2-4; 10 points) vs. Portland Thorns FC (2-3-3; 9 points)
NWSL regular season
June 6, 2015 – BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas
Goals by period 1 2 Total
Houston Das 0 0 0
Portland Thorns FC 0 0 0
Houston Dash: Bianca Henninger; Camila (Jen LaPonte 65), Ellie Brush, Toni Pressley, Ella Masar ©; Melissa Henderson (Allie Bailey 72), Niki Cross, Brittany Bock (Rachael Axon 62), Tiffany McCarty; Kealia Ohai, Jessica McDonald
Substitutes Not Used: Megan Kinneman, Jordan Jackson, Cami Privett, Jazmyne Avant
TOTAL SHOTS: 5 (Tiffany McCarty 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Tiffany McCarty, Kealia Ohai 1); FOULS: 10 (Camila 3); OFFSIDES: 3 (Kealia Ohai 2); CORNER KICKS: 1 (Melissa Henderson 1); SAVES: 5 (Bianca Henninger 5)
Portland Thorns: Michelle Betos; Rachel Van Hollebecke, Kat Williamson ©, Emily Menges; Taylor Comeau (Hannah Terry, 59), McCall Zerboni , Kendall Johnson (Alyssa Kleiner, 89) , Meleana Shim (Sarah Jackson, 84), Sinead Farrelly, Allie Long; Ayo Anonma
Substitutes Not Used: Emily Kruger, Kate Bennett
TOTAL SHOTS: 15 (Ayo Anonma 7); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Allie Long, Sinead Farrelly, Ayo Anonma, Taylor Comeau tied with 1); FOULS: 8 (Allie Long, Kendall Johnson tied with 2); OFFSIDES: 6 (Ayo Anonma 5); CORNER KICKS: 4 (Allie Long 4); SAVES: 2 (Michelle Betos 2)
HOU: Camila (caution) 35
HOU: Brittany Bock (caution) 45
POR: Hanna Terry (caution) 65
Referee: Danielle Chesky
Assistant Referees: Veronica Perez, Francisco Bermudez
Fourth Official: Christa Dorsey