Portland came to Houston with a 4-2-1 record against the Dash, and after a disappointing loss at Seattle the previous week as well as a 1-3-2 road record this season, the Thorns looked to prove that they were still a team to be taken seriously. Houston, on the other hand, returned to BBVA Compass Stadium with a three-game unbeaten streak, but mindful that their 1-3-1 record at home was not impressive.
Dash Lead Early
It didn't take long for the Dash to take the lead. In the 8th minute, the build-up for the goal began near the midfield as Carli Lloyd passed to Nichelle Prince, who took it on the flank and maintained possession to find Rachel Daly for a wide pass. Daly was able to cross the ball to Janine Beckie who was near the penalty spot. Beckie sent the ball towards the corner of the left post, which Portland goalkeeper Adrianna Franch was unable to stop. Houston was up 1-0 less than ten minutes into the game thanks to Beckie's first goal of the season.
Eight minutes later, the Dash again threatened as a Daly low cross meant for Prince was cleared away by Emily Menges. But coming up the flank the other way for Portland, defender Meghan Klingenberg took a pass from Christine Sinclair. Klingenberg was able to take into the Houston box for a shot, but it was blocked by Amber Brooks.
As the game reached the half hour, Beckie had two shots that could have given the Dash a second goal, but her first shot went wide, and Franch managed to save her second attempt.
In the 34th minute, Sinclair, from the inside the Houston box, took Portland's best chance to tie the game at that point, but Jane Campbell, earning her fifth start of her rookie season, was able to deny the goal with a huge save, getting a touch and sending the ball over the bar. The Dash would hold on to their 1-0 lead going into halftime.
Portland Equalizes in Stoppage Time
The Thorns returned to the second half determined, pressing for the tying goal. In the 55th minute, on a free kick, Klingenberg served a ball to Allie Long, but her header went high over the goal. Again, in the 62nd minute, Long, with another opportunity after a pass from Sinclair, took a shot at the top of the box, but it was stopped by Campbell.
Even though the Thorns took a variety of shots, outshooting the Dash, Houston had their own opportunities to extend their lead. A Lloyd header was close, but off target. Then, Prince made a run into the box, but her shot was also off target, and a Poliana pass to Cami Privett inside the box for a header was wide of the goal. Prince, in the 71st minute, beat Emily Sonnett after a perfect pass from Lloyd, leaving her one-on-one with Franch, but the Portland goalkeeper grabbed the ball off Prince's feet with the diving save. In the 87th minute, Lloyd took a right-footed shot that could have sealed a win for the Dash, but her shot went wide to the left.
As the game dwindled in stoppage time, the Thorns were awarded a free kick after a foul on Long near the Houston goal box. Lindsey Horan took the free kick, and she was able to directly take a shot on goal. Her free kick easily beat Campbell's reach, and Portland tied the game. The goal was Horan's third of the season, and enough to give Portland a point after the draw and ruin Houston's celebration.
And if stoppage time did not provide enough after the Portland goal, in the second minute of stoppage time, Lloyd's challenge for the ball on Mallory Weber was not ignored by referee Christina Unkel. Lloyd was given a red card, ejected from the minute that remained in stoppage time. She will miss Houston's next game against the Washington Spirit.
Portland returns to Providence Park to host the North Carolina Courage on Saturday, July 15 in the NWSL Lifetime Game of the Week.