By Oluwaseun Oyediji
Orlando Pride defeated the 2023 UKG Challenge Cup champions North Carolina Courage at Exploria Stadium on Monday. The win is the Club’s sixth home win of the season, which ties the Club record set back in 2017.
Forward Ally Watt scored the fastest goal in Club history just 39 seconds into the match after receiving a pass from Adriana Leal. The goal counted as Watt’s first regular season goal and her third across all competitions this season.
Adriana scored the eventual game-winning goal for the Pride in the 33rd minute. The goal counts as her fifth of the season while also picking up her fourth assist of the year across all competitions. It is the Brazilian international’s third straight game in which she has contributed to a goal.
The Pride opened the scoring just 39 seconds into the match with Adriana threading a ball through the Courage’s backline to find a sprinting Ally Watt. Watt got on the end of the pass, took a touch around the keeper, and slotted it into the back of the net.
Orlando extended their lead in the 33rd minute through nice work from Marta in the midfield, finding Julie Doyle on the wing, who sent a ball through to Adriana. Adriana used her pace to get away from the defenders and easily finished her one-on-one opportunity with the goalkeeper.
In the 52nd minute, the visitors pulled one back when Emily Fox sent in a ball from the left flank that fell to the foot of Manaka Matsukubo who was able to get it over the line from the middle of the box.
Malia Berkely was sent off for Courage in the 80th minute.
The Pride moved to the seventh position with 25 points after 19 points while Coursage sat in the fourth position on the log with 28 points.
After staging a massive second-half comeback, the Chicago Red Stars split points with Angel City FC in a 2-2 draw. The World Cup Welcome Back match saw the second-largest crowd in club history, with 8,961 in attendance.
Angel City earned a corner kick about 12 yards outside the box in the 39 minute, which was sent in and bounced around before finding the back of the net after Alyssa Naeher was unable to recover from a previous save.
In the 68th minute, after receiving a pass up the middle, Cheyna Matthews rockets off a shot which was saved before deflecting back to Ava Cook, who launched a laser that Angel City couldn’t stop to even the score.
A cross into Chicago’s 18-yard box in the 71st minute by Angel City’s forward finds another attacker who finished the shot attempt to give Red Stars the lead again.
Chicago Red Star seats in the bottom position on the table with 21 points while Angels City FC is in eighth position with 25 points.
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