Allie Long’s two-goal performance led Portland to a 3-0 victory over the Houston Dash at Providence Park on Wednesday night.
Heading into Portland for a midweek contest, the Dash had been playing at the caliber they looked destined to be from the start of the season. Unfortunately, Houston found themselves up against a formidable Thorns FC side looking to slow down Kealia Ohai and Houston's scorching offense.
Long opened the scoring in the 26th minute capitalizing on a creative free kick play. Tobin Heath played a perfectly weighted ball into the box, Long made her run into the area and placed a header over Lydia Williams.
Despite allowing three goals, Williams had a strong performance in goal for the Dash. She denied Christine Sinclair with a crucial save in the 32nd minute and Sinclair ricocheted her rebound attempt off the post. Williams stopped Sinclair again in the 66th minute, but the Thorns FC forward finally put one past her in the 90th minute to bookmark the match.
Portland's dynamic duo of Heath and Long collaborated again for a second goal in the 71st minute. Heath fed Long with a pass in front of goal, Long turned and fired a left-footed strike past Williams and into the back of the net.
Looking ahead to the NWSL postseason, Portland clinched a playoff spot with Seattle's loss to Washington, while the Dash have been officially eliminated from contention.
The Dash return home to BBVA Compass Stadium on Sunday to face the Boston Breakers on Military and First Responders Appreciation Night.
FT: Thorns 3-0 Dash. It was a tough night at the office, y'all. #PORvHOU— Houston Dash (@HoustonDash) September 8, 2016
90' Sinclair makes it 3-0. The forward takes advantage of a mishandled ball inside the six-yard box. #PORvHOU— Houston Dash (@HoustonDash) September 8, 2016
71' Heath finds Long near the penalty spot, takes a few touches, turns and scores her second goal of the game. #PORvHOU— Houston Dash (@HoustonDash) September 8, 2016
HT: Thorns 1-0 Dash. Long's set piece goal the difference after 45 minutes of soccer. #PORvHOU— Houston Dash (@HoustonDash) September 8, 2016
26' Heath takes a free kick, finds Long near the penalty spot and her header catches William off her line. #PORvHOU— Houston Dash (@HoustonDash) September 8, 2016