Orlando Pride gets past Angel City


Adriana delivered for the Orlando Pride on Sunday evening.

The Brazilian forward was the catalyst for the undefeated Pride against Angel City. Adriana got Orlando going with two first half goals, and Orlando also withstood several Angel City threats and got a late second half goal from Barbra Banda, and Orlando kept themselves undefeated on the season with a 3-0 win at BMO Stadium.

“Some games we’ve been able to score, and other games like today, we’re almost there but it’s that last pass or decision making,” Angel City midfielder Rocky Rodriguez said. “Should’ve, could’ve, would’ve. We need to be able to see within ourselves and get better.”

While Orlando (10-0-5, 35 points) is still undefeated, they are not the only undefeated team in NWSL. The Pride has to share first place as well as the the status of unbeaten with the Kansas City Current, and both teams also happen the same identical record, though KC get to claim the top spot due to its 39 goals being nine better than Orlando. Despite the loss, Angel City (4-8-3, 15 points) are jus three points back of the final playoff spot.

Marta stole a ball from Alyssa Thompson, sidestepped Rodriguez and ignited an Orlando counterattack. Marta dribbled, played a ball to to the right to Adriana, who then dribbled forward towards the penalty area, then fired a shot just outside the 18 that beat keeper Didi Haracic far post to open the scoring for the Pride.

Adriana got her brace six minutes later, as Carrie Lawrence sprung Banda down the left side, Banda took the ball into the penalty area, fired a shot that was saved by Haracic, but she left a loose ball just outside the six-yard box, and Adriana just happened to be within the vicinity and she capitalized, swooping in, beating Madison Curry to the ball and slotting the ball past a scrambling Haracic into the open net. Adriana almost had a hat trick in the 35th minute, as she fired a volley from about 30 yards out, but it hit off the crossbar.

“They’re ruthless in transition, and they are where they are for a reason,” Angel City head coach Becki Tweed said of Orlando. “I thought we handled Banda brilliantly. I don’t think she had anything, but then comes Adriana and Marta. Marta found spaces and then found [Adriana] in that space.”

Angel City tried to conjure up a response in the second half. Angel City’s best look at goal came in the 62nd minute, as Madison Curry sent a long ball that was tracked down by Sydney Leroux into the penalty area, Leroux fought off a challenge from Emily Sams, leaving her unmarked inside the 18, Leroux shot for the far post, but missed. Angel City’s other best chance was in the 89th minute, as Claire Emslie sent a corner kick into the penalty area, Megan Reid outjumped several Orlando defenders to head a ball dangerously towards goa, but keeper Anna Moorhouse calmly parried the ball over the crossbar.

“A message to the group was that I was proud of how hard we pushed in the second half,” Tweed said. “We kept ourselves in the game. It would have been easy at halftime to walk in and feel deflated, and we didn’t. We still felt like we had a chance. We showed that we can create chances.”

Banda was then gifted a chance to seal the three points for the Pride and she capitalized, as Angel City’s Jasmyne Spencer played a ball back to Sarah Gorden, who got a touch on the ball, but it was a heavy touch, which enabled Banda to get to the ball, Banda got a one-on-one with Haracic, Banda rounded Haracic and slotted the ball into the open net to put the cherry on top for Orlando.


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