ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – Coming into Saturday night’s game at Orlando City Stadium, the Orlando Pride needed to earn a victory to keep their third place spot in the NWSL standings. But Lindsey Horan scored her league-leading 11th goal of the season and the Pride not getting their footing allowed the Portland Thorns a 2-0 victory.
The loss now puts the Pride in 4th place in the NWSL standings with three games left to play in their season. Also, with the victory by the Chicago Red Stars, the Pride are now one point ahead of Chicago for the final spot in the playoffs. But if both teams tie in the standings, Chicago will make the playoffs due the goal differential.
After an opening 45 minutes, that saw the Pride play with a pace that was very reminiscent of the last 25 minutes of their last contest, but just like in their last game, couldn’t find the target on shots. Out of their nine shots in the opening half, only three were on target.
After the halftime break, the Pride once again allowed the visitors to take control of the game. Orlando allowed two goals in a 7-minute period in the early stages of the second half. The only difference between this game and the previous game against Sky Blue FC is that Orlando did not find away to score.
Horan, who had two of her previous shots hit the post, scored after a Thorns free kick allowed her space to put her shot past Orlando goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris. Portland made the score 2-0 when Hayley Raso (also a victim of a shot off the post) scored her second goal of the season. Raso, used her head to place the ball in front of her, then she used her speed to beat Alanna Kennedy and her right foot shot beat Harris to the far post.
The Pride’s leading goal scorer Sydney Leroux missed her second consecutive game due to an illness and could be back in time for Orlando’s final three games.
Orlando will have a interesting next two games coming up as they take on the league’s best team in North Carolina next Saturday night on the road and then come home to play Chicago on August 25th in their final regular season home game.
47th minute – Horan (11th of the season), Assisted by Tobin Heath
53rd minute – Raso (2nd of the season), Unassisted
59th min – Camila for Chioma Ubogagu
68th min – Rachel Hill for Kristin Edmonds
80th min – Carson Pickett for Toni Pressley
55th min – Caitlin Foord for Ana Maria Crnogorevic
76th min – Midge Purce for Ellie Carpenter
87th min – Andressinha for Hayley Raso
Danny Thompson is a sports contributor for Florida National News. | firstname.lastname@example.org