The North Carolina Courage suffered a two-goal to one defeat at the hands of the Orlando Pride over the weekend in their first home fixture of the 2021 United States National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Regular Season…
The Saturday night game which kicked off at 7 p.m. Eastern Time at the Sahlen’s Stadium — the home grounds of the Courage — recorded its first goal in the 36th minute of play when in the first half Sydney Leroux of the Pride scored to put the visiting team one-zero ahead.
With a 1-0 advantage for the Pride, the Courage fans taking advantage of home turf increased the tempo as they cheered their team on to pull an equalizer, but the next goal that came in the 79th minute was from the Orlando Pride’s Alex Morgan who dribbled her way to the goal line and scored from a close range.
At this point, the score became 2 goals to nothing with Pride in a good lead…
That was soon to change when 10 minutes after the 2nd goal in the 2nd half Courage’s number 14 — Jessica McDonald — took advantage of a goalmouth melee in the Pride’s side of the field as a redirected header found her feet. McDonald handled the ball well with tactical footwork that let her turn just in time for a neat shot on goal that redeemed Courage in the 89th minute, bringing the scoreline to Orlando Pride 2 and North Carolina Courage 1.
From here on it was a genuine struggle for both women sides giving it their all to see if they could score in the dying minutes of the game until the referee’s whistle brought proceedings to an end, after 5 minutes of extra time of play.
The next games for both teams will see Orlando Pride play Portland Thorns on May 26th at Exploria Stadium, their Florida home turf. Two days later, North Carolina Courage hosts Racing Louisville FC at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park on May 28th.
For more info about the NWSL visit nwslsoccer.com.
Written by Oral Ofori