Orlando Pride almost secure NWSL play off place

Filed under: Florida News,Orlando News,Orlando Pride,Orlando Sport,Sport |

Orlando Pride 1 Seattle Reign 1, Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, 7th September2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

Orlando Pride and Seattle Reign FC  battled to a hard-fought draw on Thursday night in an entertaining game that saw two late goals in second half stoppage time send both sides away with a point a piece. Alex Morgan (pictured above) broke the deadlock in the second minute of added time, pushing the Pride ahead in their hunt for the playoffs, but the lead didn’t last long as Seattle’s Jessica Fishlock equalized two minutes later to give the visitors a valuable point.

“It’s difficult at this moment in time because of the frustrations of the emotions. We worked really hard tonight against Seattle. It was a different kind of game tonight than some of the other games we’ve had here. Very open game at times and some good football being played,” Head Coach Tom Sermanni said.  “I thought we had more than enough chances in the second half to win the game and then I thought we had won the game. This sport comes back and gives you lessons sometimes, but I thought we did enough to win the game and it’s eating at me at the moment that we switched off straight from the kickoff and gave a goal away in the last minute. Apart from that, delighted with our players’ efforts. [We] still kept the unbeaten run going and we’re getting to the top four.”

Orlando Pride 1 Seattle Reign 1, Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, 7th September2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

The game was brought forward a couple of days because of the threat of Hurricane Irma to the State of Florida and it looked like Morgan’s late goal would be enough to give the Pride a place in the end of season play offs. Dani Weatherholt (pictured above with Morgan) collected an attempted Reign FC clearance near the midfield line and found Morgan open to her left. The forward took her defender one-on-one down the left side and caught Seattle goalkeeper Lydia Williams flat footed as she fired in a low shot to the far post. It was Weatherholt’s first career assist.

Orlando Pride 1 Seattle Reign 1, Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, 7th September2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

Fishlock equalised with a neat header from 12 yards from second-half substitute Nahomi Kawasumi’s cross that looped past Pride keeper Ashlyn Harris and into the net. As a result, the Pride will have to wait a couple of weeks to clinch a playoff spot as NWSL now heads into a FIFA break following the conclusion of the rest of the Week 20 matches. The draw was good enough to extend the Pride’s unbeaten streak to seven straight matches and one more win will ensure the team continues to the end of season knock out format.

The Pride will play its final home match of the regular season on Saturday, Sept. 23, against Portland Thorns FC and the tickets to the Pride’s final regular season home game against Thorns FC, who are one of two teams to have already secured a spot in the NWSL’s four-team playoff, can be purchased at orlando-pride.com/tickets or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.

Lineups:
Orlando Pride: Ashlyn Harris ©; Camila, Monica, Ali Krieger, Steph Catley; Dani Weatherholt, Alanna Kennedy; Rachel Hill (Jasmyne Spencer 75’), Marta, Chioma Ubogagu (Toni Pressley 84’);  Alex Morgan

Substitutes Not Used: Aubrey Bledsoe; Nickolette Driesse, Jo Blankenship; Danica Evans, Jamia Fields

Seattle Reign FC: Lydia Williams; Rebekah Stott, Rachel Corsie, Lauren Barnes, Carson Pickett; Christine Nairn (Maddie Bauer 73’), Rumi Utsugi, Jessica Fishlock; Beverly Yanez (Naho Kawasumi 61’), Merritt Mathias (Katie Johnson 80’), Megan Rapinoe

Substitutes Not Used: Haley Kopmeyer, Elli Reed; Kristen McNabb; Kiersten Dallstream

Attendance: 4,341

More photos at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com

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