PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Thorns FC booked a spot in the National Women’s Soccer League championship game, downing the Orlando Pride, 4-1, at Providence Park in front of a crowd of 18,193 Saturday.
Paced by two first-half goals from Amandine Henry and Emily Sonnett and second-half goals from Hayley Raso and Christine Sinclair, Portland will head to its first championship final since winning it in the club’s inaugural season in 2013.
Tobin Heath, making her first start this season, contributed an assist along with Meghan Klingenberg, Lindsey Horan and Nadia Nadim also adding helpers in the victory.
Portland will play the winner of Sunday’s North Carolina Courage-Chicago Red Stars semifinal next week.
The Thorns jumped out to a 1-0 lead as defender Meghan Klingenberg whipped in a cross with her right foot to the far post that Henry stretched to tap in.
Three minutes later, Heath curled in a pinpoint free kick that Sonnett leaped high to flick on and into the back of the net for a 2-0 advantage.
The Pride pulled a goal back as Orlando worked a corner kick from the right that was flicked on by Toni Pressley to Alanna Kennedy, who headed it in to slice the deficit in half.
In the 71st minute, Raso, sprung by a gorgeous through ball from Lindsey Horan, sped in on goal alone and fired her shot into the right side to give Portland a 3-1 lead.
Nadim, just subbed on a few moments prior, lofted a cross to the back post to an open Sinclair, who scored in the lower right corner to put the Thorns up 4-1 in the 82nd minute.