Midfielder Verónica Boquete tallied the game-winning goal, while goalkeeper Nadine Angerer recorded a clean sheet as Portland Thorns FC earned a 1-0 victory against the Houston Dash in front of a National Women's Soccer League record crowd of 19,123 fans at Providence Park on Sunday night.
Thorns FC (9-7-6, 33pts) broke the previous NWSL attendance record of 17,619 set at the team's 2013 regular-season home finale against FC Kansas City on Aug. 4, 2013.
After limited chances in the first half, Portland broke the deadlock in the 54th minute of the match. Defender Steph Catley played a cross from the left flank as Boquete made a run into the box. The Spanish international finished with a shot in stride at the back post, tallying her fourth goal of the season. The assist was Catley's fifth in the last six games.
Portland tallied its third consecutive clean sheet against Houston, winning all three meetings by a score of 1-0 this season. Thorns FC earned a pair of shutout victories on the road against the Dash on April 12 and May 14. Goalkeeper Nadine Angerer tallied a clean sheet in all three wins.
The shutout was the second for Portland at home this season and the first since the team's 2-0 victory against Washington on June 15. Thorns FC allowed just five total shots in the match, the fewest by an opponent this season.
Portland and Houston combined for six shots in the first half and just one shot on goal. In the second half, Thorns FC were on the front foot with a 12-2 advantage in shots, finishing the match with a 15-5 edge. Portland tallied eight shots on goal in the match, including seven in the second half.
Thorns FC remain in the hunt for one of two remaining NWSL playoff berths. Seattle Reign FC has clinched the top seed, while FC Kansas City secured a playoff spot as well. Portland is currently in fourth place with 33 points, while the Washington Spirit sit in third place at 34 points and the Chicago Red Stars are fifth with 28 points.
Portland travels to Boston to play its final regular-season road game on Sunday, Aug. 10, at Harvard Stadium; kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. (Pacific). The match will be available via a live webstream at www.portlandthornsfc.com.
Release from Portland Thorns.