PORTLAND — A desperate Portland Thorns attack overwhelmed one of the top teams in the National Women’s Soccer League on Sunday at Providence Park.
Veronica Boquete and Allie Long scored two goals apiece, and Alex Morgan, Christine Sinclair and Amber Brooks also scored as the Thorns thrashed FC Kansas City 7-1 in front of more than 9,600 fans.
The win pulled Portland (7-6-6, 25 points) back into a tie with the Chicago Red Stars for fourth place. Portland visits Chicago on Thursday for a match that could be key in deciding the playoff fate for both clubs. On Saturday, Chicago handed Seattle its first loss of the season, putting pressure on Portland to win Sunday.
Second-place FC Kansas City (10-5-3) lost for the second time this season in Portland, where the Thorns are 4-4-1. Kansas City had won seven consecutive games and had not lost in its previous nine matches.
The Thorns led 3-1 at halftime and added four goals in the second half to put away the win. In its two previous matches, both against Chicago, Portland settled for ties after leading late in the match.
Boquete, Morgan and Long scored first-half goals for Portland.
Boquete opened the scoring in the third minute from near the top of the penalty area after Long kept possession and Morgan dropped a pass to Boquete. Morgan made it 2-0 in the 15th minute, smashing home a half volley from eight yards out.
Katrina Gorry, playing for the ill Lauren Cheney, pulled the visitors within a goal in the 30th minute when she converted after a turnover by the Thorns defense.
Long restored the two-goal lead in the 43rd minute. She touched a loose ball to Sinclair, who returned the ball to Long running free in the penalty area.
Long’s second goal of the match came in the 62nd minute. She took a feed from Vero with her back to goal near the penalty spot and turned to curl a right-footed shot beyond the reach of goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart.
In the 74th minute, Boquete converted a penalty kick after Tobin Heath was fouled. In the 80th minute, Sinclair scored with a header off a Boquete cross. And in the 87th minute, Brooks got her head to a Mana Shim cross to complete the scoring.
Morgan left the match on a stretcher in the 77th minute after an apparent injury to her right foot.