NWSL playoff picture set with 3-1 Thorns’ win over the Reign
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Lindsey Horan scored two goals and the Portland Thorns secured home-field advantage for the NWSL semifinals with a 3-1 victory over the Seattle Reign on Friday night.
The victory gave the Thorns a second-place finish in the league’s standings, behind North Carolina. Portland will host the third-place Reign on Sept. 15. North Carolina will host the Chicago Red Stars in the other semifinal the next day.
The Reign went up early on Jess Fishlock’s goal in the fourth minute, stunning the sellout crowd of 21,144.
Ellie Carpenter had a chance for the Thorns in the 24th minute but her shot from distance caromed off the far post. Horan broke through in the 30th minute to tie the match, blasting a shot that that came back to her after Christine Sinclair was challenged in the box.
Heath curled a shot from distance out of Reign goalkeeper Lydia William’s reach in the 49th minute to give the Thorns the lead before Horan’s second goal, a header, in the 82nd.
Horan has 13 goals this season, second only in the league to Chicago’s Sam Kerr, who has 15.
Megan Rapinoe did not play for the Reign because of a rib injury that also kept her out of the U.S. national team’s two recent exhibition matches against Chile. Allie Long also missed the game for the Reign because of a right knee sprain.
Portland hosts the league championship Sept. 22.