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OCT 27
3:30 PM ET
ESPN
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Thorns clinch home playoff game with 1-0 win over Breakers
The Thorns won their 13th game of the season
Portland Thorns FC captain Christine Sinclair scored her eighth goal of the season in Week 20. (Photo credit: Mike Gridley/isiphotos.com)
Portland Thorns FC captain Christine Sinclair scored her eighth goal of the season in Week 20. (Photo credit: Mike Gridley/isiphotos.com)

Christine Sinclair scored in 72nd minute as Portland Thorns FC secured a home playoff game with a 1-0 win over the Boston Breakers on Sunday night in front of a crowd of 3,015 at Jordan Field in Boston, Massachusetts.

Their home semifinal game will take place on Saturday, October 7. The seeding is still to be determined as Portland sits just two points behind first-place North Carolina.

The Thorns improved to 13-5-4 (43 ponts) with the victory. The 13 wins is a new team record for wins in a single season.

Thorns goalkeeper Adrianna Franch made four saves to earn her 10th shutout of the season. She is now tied for the all-time single season record with FC Kansas City goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart (2013).

Sinclair now has eight goals this season and 31 in her career. With the score, she passed Allie Long for the all-time team lead. After getting on the end of a long ball over the top, Hayley Raso persisted through Boston’s defensive pressure to kick it out for Sinclair in the penalty box. The Thorns captain cooly hit it past Breakers goalkeeper Abby Smith to break the scoreless deadlock.

Raso won the Week 18 Player of the Week award, but missed Portland’s last game because she was suspended due to yellow card accumulation.

 

Franch made several key stops in the match, especially near the end of the first half. On of her best moments cam in the 40th minute — a diving save after an Allysha Chapman cross deflected off a Thorns defender towards the right side of goal.

She also made several nice catches through traffic, including one in the 31st minute after a long cross from Margaret Purce headed towards the net.

The semifinal on October 7 will be the second consecutive home semifinal for the Thorns. Portland fell 4-3 in extra time to the Western New York Flash, who went on to win the NWSL Championship.

The NWSL now heads into an international break and will resume play on September 23 when the Thorns visit the Orlando Pride.

 

The Breakers (3-12-7, 16 points) will next play on September 23 as well when they visit the Washington Spirit.

 

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