The Orlando Pride were seconds away from stealing a point in the NWSL‘s toughest environment before Tyler Lussi slammed home a corner kick to give the Portland Thorns the lead in stoppage time and the victory, 4-3, on Sunday afternoon at Providence Park.
Marta put the Pride on the board in the 61st minute with a Goal of the Week front-runner, and Erin Greening‘s strike tied the game in the 90th minute, but it wasn’t enough for the Pride in their third and final meeting of the year with the Thorns.
Portland wasted no time getting on the scoreboard with Hayley Raso closing down on Haley Kopmeyer, who got caught holding on to the ball at her feet for too long, and pouncing on Kopmeyer’s attempted clearance to win an open net goal and make it a 1-0 game in the third minute.
Things didn’t get any better for the Pride for the rest of the second half. Portland dominated possession, kept Kopmeyer and the Pride backline under constant pressure, and had the Pride pinned into their own half of the field for much of the first 45 minutes.
The Pride only had one shot on goal through the first half, an Alanna Kennedy’s free-kick from distance was shot right into the hands of Thorns goalkeeper Britt Eckerstorm.
The second half started no better for Orlando, which conceded 13 minutes in when Shelina Zadorsky headed home a cross into the box extend the Thorns’ ahead 2-0.
But then the Pride started to storm back.
Marta pulled her team back to within a goal with an upper-90 blast from outside of the penalty area to make it a 2-1 game in the 61st minute.
The Thorns found their third goal of the day, however, five minutes later when Christine Sinclair beat Kopmeyer.
Marta came close to scoring her second goal of the day on her own in the 68th minute, taking a shot that was deflected off two Portland players and into their own goal. The goal was originally credited to Marta but was soon changed to an own goal.
The drama reached its peak in the 90th minute when Greening’s right-footed strike beat the goalkeeper and leveled the scoreline at 3-3.
Kopmeyer came up with a big save in the 93rd minute, but the resulting corner kick led to Lussi’s game-winning header as the Thorns would emerge victorious 4-3.
Up next for Orlando
The Pride return to Exploria Stadium to host Sky Blue FC on Saturday, July 20 at 7:30 p.m. ET.
3′ – Haley Raso (Portland)
58′ – Midge Purce (Portland)
61′ – Marta (Orlando)
66′ – Christine Sinclair, assisted by Caitlin Foord (Portland)
68′ – Emily Menges, own-goal (Orlando)
90′ – Erin Greening (Orlando)
90+4′ – Tyler Lussi, assisted by Meghan Klingenberg (Portland)
How the Pride lined up
Orlando Pride XI: Haley Kopmeyer, Carson Pickett, Shelina Zadorsky, Toni Pressley, Erin Greening; Alanna Kennedy, Emily van Egmond, Marta, Dani Weatherholt; Chioma Ubogagu, Rachel Hill.
Orlando Pride Bench: Joanna Boyles, Abby Elinsky, Morgan Reid, Danica Evans, Marisa Viggiano, Camila, Lainey Burdett.
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