Westfield Matildas stars Alanna Kennedy and Emily van Egmond were on the wrong end of a seven-goal thriller in the National Women’s Soccer League.
Also in action, Kyah Simon’s Houston Dash grabbed their first home win of the season against Steph Catley and Lydia Williams' Seattle Reign.
Here’s a wrap of the NWSL action from Thursday …
ORLANDO PRIDE 3-4 NORTH CAROLINA COURAGE
Alanna Kennedy scored for Orlando Pride in their dramatic seven-goal game against NWSL table-toppers North Carolina Courage.
Emily van Egmond also started for the Pride as they fell 4-3 to the in-form Courage side who have now opened up a whopping 12-point gap between first and second after their run of 10 games undefeated to start the season.
Kennedy played the game as a holding midfielder, with van Egmond more advanced in the centre of the park for the home side, who found themselves unable to stop North Carolina’s rampant attack.
Jessica McDonald opened the scoring for Courage in the 32nd minute before Chioma Ibogagu equalised for Pride just after the half time break.
But a quick-fire Debinha strike and Ashlyn Harris own goal gave North Carolina a 3-1 lead by 60 minutes.
Kennedy then sparked Orlando’s comeback with a neat header from a corner in the 65th minute before Westfield W-League star Rachel Hill, who scored nine goals for Perth Glory last season, bagged a goal to make it 3-3 in the 83rd minute.
Yet with the game into stoppage time, North Carolina showed why they are such strong favourites to win the regular season, with McDonald popping up with a late winner after goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris was again caught out.
HOUSTON DASH 2-1 SEATTLE REIGN
Kyah Simon’s Houston Dash have edged Steph Catley and Lydia Williams’ Seattle Reign with a late breakaway goal to earn their first home win of the NWSL season.
Both Simon and Catley started for Houston and Seattle respectively, while Williams surprisingly dropped down to the bench despite starring between the sticks in Seattle’s 0-0 draw with Chicago Red Stars on Sunday.
The Reign took the lead in the 13th minute via Beverly Yanez, before Kristie Mewis equalised for the Dash in the 68th minute.
It looked as if Seattle would pinch a late winner when they struck the woodwork in the 92nd minute, but despite going centimetres from the winner, the Dash instead broke from one end of the pitch to the other with Simon playing a part in Veronica Latsko’s winner.
It was an agonising way for Seattle to end their four game unbeaten run, with Catley inadvertently deflecting Latsko’s strike beyond former Sydney FC Westfield W-League goalkeeper Michelle Betos.
Next Aussies up in the NSWL …
- Saturday 26 at 12.30pm: Portland Thorns v Utah Royals
- Sunday 27 at 5.30am: Chicago Red Stars v Orlando Pride
- Sunday 27 at 9.00am: Sky Blue v Seattle Reign
- Monday 28 at 10am: Houston Dash v Washington Spirit