The Houston Dash finished their regular-season home schedule with a 1-0 loss to the Portland Thorns tonight at PNC Stadium, with the lone goal coming in the 43rd minute. With this result, the Dash finish the season with a 5-2-4 record at home.
The loss means that Houston will have to wait until its last match of the season to learn its playoff fate. Houston will finish the regular season on Sunday, Oct. 31 at the Washington Spirit. The NWSL table is extremely tightly bunched with the Dash tied with two other teams and just four points separating the third- and seventh-place squads heading into the final week of games.
The first half was a decidedly defensive affair, with both teams struggling to generate clean looks at goal and both defenses swarming to the ball whenever it was put in a dangerous position. The closest that either team came to scoring came when the Thorns hit the woodwork twice.
The Dash’s first dangerous chance at a goal came in the 27th minute, when forward Nichelle Prince got out on a counterattack and worked her way into the Portland 18-yard-box before getting off a dangerous strike at goal. Prince’s ball ricocheted off of a Thorns defender and into the arms of the Portland goalkeeper.
The Dash had a chance to take the lead going into the half, when Prince earned a corner kick in the 42nd minute. Midfielder Kristie Mewis swung the ball perfectly into the box and onto the head of forward Rachel Daly, who turned a powerful headed shot on target, but Portland goalkeeper Bella Bixby was well positioned to make the save.
A minute later, the Thorns opened up the scoring when the ball fell to the feet of midfielder Lindsey Horan at the top of the penalty area after a scramble inside the box. Horan ran onto the loose ball and fired a shot past goalkeeper Jane Campbell and into the Dash’s net.
The Dash nearly had a chance to tie up the game in the 61st minute. Prince once again raced down the pitch before crossing the ball into Daly, who got a touch on the ball. The referee, however, blew the play dead for offsides.
Kickoff for Houston’s regular season finale at Washington is scheduled for 1 p.m. CT and fans can stream the game on Paramount +.