The Orlando Pride went into Cary, NC, looking to upset the NWSL Shield winners but Mother Nature had other ideas. After originally being delayed for about 90 minutes, the game last just 22 minutes before lightning once again interfered. This time the game did not resume. Instead, it is schedule to resume tomorrow morning at 10 a.m.
The match will resume from the point it was stopped and, according to Jordan Culver of ProSoccerUSA, the NWSL will stream the match.
BREAKING:— Jordan Culver (@JordanCulver) August 19, 2018
An update from North Carolina Courage officials: The Orlando Pride's match against the North Carolina Courage will resume in the 22nd minute on Sunday, at 10 a.m. The match will still be streamed. #NCvORL
Coming into the game, Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni changed the shape from a three-back system that he had used in the past few games to the 4-3-3 that the Pride have typically used. Surprisingly, though, Marta and Camila played up top with Alex Morgan, while Rachel Hill was deployed in the midfield.
The Pride pressured the Courage for much of the 22 minutes played, but could not put one in the net — a continuation of a troubling trend for the club this season.
It took just 40 seconds for the first chance of the game. Hill took a heavy touch followed by a poor pass and Crystal Dunn jumped on the end of it and started the counter. Dunn drew three defenders and found Lynn Williams on the right side. Williams put the cross in and it bounced around a little before Ashlyn Harris was able to get on the end of it.
A few minutes later, Jessica McDonald held off Shelina Zadorsky and played a great through ball to Dunn but the USWNT star couldn’t get the ball on frame.
In the next 10 minutes, it was corner after corner for the Pride but they only had one true chance off of seven corners. Marta’s service was too short and North Carolina easily defended it. However, the ball fell right to Marta’s feet. She put in another cross that was too low and the Courage again defended it with ease. North Carolina turned it over though and the ball fell to Emily van Egmond. The Aussie midfielder quickly turned and shot and it was kept out by the woodwork.
The game took another stop in the 22nd minute because of lightning and the Pride were looking like the more dangerous team towards the end of that period of play. North Carolina had five shots compared to Orlando’s four but Kristen Edmonds was the only player to get a shot on target. The biggest stat was the Pride’s seven corners to the home team’s none.
Orlando needs every point it can get with just two games and 58 minutes remaining in its regular season. The Pride nearly caught a break last night with Sky Blue leading 2-1 deep into stoppage time before conceding and drawing at home against the Utah Royals, who remain in a tight four-team race for the final two playoff spots. The Portland Thorns and Chicago Red Stars play later tonight in another critical game.
We’ll be back tomorrow with full coverage of the remainder of the Pride at North Carolina.