Thorns' lead slips in 3-3 draw with Chicago - KPTV - FOX 12

Thorns' lead slips in 3-3 draw with Chicago

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Forward Christine Sinclair recorded a brace and midfielder Meleana Shim tallied a goal in her third straight game, but Portland Thorns FC conceded two goals in the final 15 minutes of a 3-3 draw against the Chicago Red Stars in front of 12,534 fans at JELD-WEN Field on Sunday.

The result improves Portland's overall record to 9-4-4 (31pts) and brings Thorns FC into a tie for second place in the National Women's Soccer League standings following Sky Blue FC's 1-0 loss to first-place FC Kansas City on Sunday. Thorns FC are unbeaten in three straight games.

Sinclair, who became the first Thorns FC player to register two goals in a game this season, tallied the game's opening goal off a free kick from midfielder Tobin Heath in the 23rd minute. Forward Danielle Foxhoven, who made her second straight start, drew a foul near the top of the penalty box. Heath then chipped the ball over the defense as Sinclair made a run through the middle of the box. The ball fell squarely for Sinclair, who volleyed a shot past Chicago goalkeeper Erin McLeod for a 1-0 lead.

Minutes later, Heath nearly added a goal, finding room inside the box in the 27th minute before firing a shot that was saved by McLeod's face as she raced off her line to cut down Heath's angle. Sinclair saw a gilt-edged chance in the 54th minute find the outside netting after the Canadian international stole a poor back pass and dribbled around McLeod.

Thorns FC doubled their lead 10 minutes into the second half when forward Alex Morgan dribbled into the right side of the box and delivered a pass that deflected off Chicago defender Sonja Fuss before falling for Shim in front of goal. Shim converted for her fourth goal of the season and her third in as many games in the 55th minute.

Chicago (6-7-5, 23pts) battled back as defender Jackie Santacaterina had an open header saved off the goal line by Portland defender Nikki Marshall in the 58th minute. Midfielder Alyssa Mautz, who entered in the match in the 17th minute when Chicago captain Lori Chalupny suffered an ankle injury, trimmed the Thorns FC lead in the 60th minute. Mautz dispossessed Thorns FC defender Marian Dougherty near the left corner of the penalty box and found space to take a few touches before firing a shot past goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc to the top right corner.

Thorns FC quickly answered as Dougherty made an overlapping run down the right flank and played a ball to Heath 35 yards from goal. Heath one-timed a cross into the box that Sinclair touched around McLeod and fired into an open net for her second goal of the match. Sinclair moves into a tie for the team lead with her sixth goal of the season.

Heath's two assists are her first two of the season as she became just the second Thorns FC player to register a multi-assist game this season.

Maintaining a two-goal lead with 15 minutes remaining, Mautz tallied her second goal of the match in the 75th minute. Defender Rachel Quon delivered a free kick from the right side toward the far post. Mautz separated from her defender and connected on a header to trim Portland's lead to 3-2.

In a frantic final 10 minutes, Heath saw a left-footed effort glide just over the crossbar in the 80th minute and second-half substitute forward Tiffany Weimer had a shot from inside the box saved by McLeod in the 83rd minute. Chicago forward Inka Grings hit the underside of the crossbar in the 84th minute and the rebound from Mautz was saved off the line by Thorns FC defender Kathryn Williamson.

Red Stars midfielder Julianne Sitch scored the game-tying goal in the 86th minute, finishing a loose ball in the box.

Thorns FC finished with a 16-15 advantage in shots as six Portland players registered at least two shots in the match. Sinclair and Heath tallied a team-leading three shots apiece.

Portland plays host to Sky Blue FC on Wednesday at JELD-WEN Field; kickoff is 7:30 p.m. (Pacific). Following Wednesday's match, Thorns FC square off against first-place FC Kansas City on Sunday, Aug. 4, at JELD-WEN Field in Portland's regular-season home finale. The match, which starts at 5:30 p.m. (Pacific), will be broadcast nationally on FOX Soccer.

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