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Match Recap: Angel City 1, Orlando Pride 1 | 3.22.24


Angel City drew 1–1 on the road against the Orlando Pride tonight in their first away game of the season, following a penalty goal by forward Claire Emslie and a late equalizer by Orlando midfielder Marta.

"We have to do the work a little bit earlier," said Head Coach Becki Tweed after the game. "I said it last week, we have to score chances, we have to take opportunities, and we have to be way more ruthless in the final third."

The first half saw chances for both sides, starting with a sixth-minute effort by Orlando forward Julie Doyle that posed little trouble for goalkeeper Angelina Anderson.

The visitors answered with a chance in the 11th minute, with a free kick by Emslie that former Orlando forward Messiah Bright connected with but sent well over the bar. They followed up one minute later, ACFC forward Alyssa Thompson wrestled past defender Celia Jiménez Delgado and into the 18; Celia miscleared the ball to Bright, who sent the ball back to Thompson, but the winger’s shot was wide.

The Pride had their best chance of the half in the 22nd minute, a powerful strike by forward Adriana from just outside the penalty arc—but Anderson dove to make the save.

After the break, ACFC started on their front foot. In the 47th minute, Bright received a long ball from midfielder Amandine Henry, dribbled into the box, and sent a sideways ball to midfielder Kennedy Fuller. Fuller dropped the ball back to midfielder Meggie Dougherty Howard, who sent it back to Bright—but once again her shot went over the bar.

Angel City finally broke through in the 53rd minute after Dougherty Howard drew a foul by Orlando forward Angelina just inside the 18. Emslie stepped up to the spot and calmly slotted the ball into the lower left-hand corner of the goal, with goalkeeper Anna Moorhouse diving right, to bring the score to 1–0.

ACFC was in control over most of the next half-hour, with most of Orlando’s possession going nowhere. The visitors found attackers in and around the penalty box a handful of times, with several balls intended for forward Katie Johnson, but the Monrovia native couldn’t quite connect.

Tweed was forthright about the missed opportunities throughout the game. "When I look back, we had enough chances to win the game," she said. "We didn't test Moorhouse enough, but we created the openings and the opportunities... With those opportunities that aren't half-chances but true chances, we have to do better in and around the box."

In the 75th minute, the momentum took a swing back in Orlando’s favor when midfielder Luana found an angled shot to the far post from just inside the penalty area, but Anderson did well to dive and claim it.

With regulation time ticking down, Orlando midfielder Marta—who had been the best player on her team throughout the game—salvaged a point. In the 88th minute, a corner kick by Adriana fell to Marta on the left side of the 18, and the six-time World Player of the Year sent a tapped volley past Anderson and into the net.

The game saw the professional debut of defender Madison Curry, who subbed in for defender Ali Riley in the 78th minute.

"Madi just showed why she's a professional player and why she plays for this club," said Tweed. "She did a really good job. You put her up against Adriana and Marta, and that's why she's a pro."

Tweed noted the role the week's schedule played in the game. "We played on Sunday and then we traveled to the east coast and played Friday," she said. "Five days' turnaround with a cross-country flight is tough... All those things, you have to consider and are really important when it comes down to energy and tiredness."

"Last week I felt like we created so many opportunities," said Tweed. "This week I felt like we created enough. I think we're dealing with some early injuries and some early sickness. Any points in the road in the NWSL are good points. Obviously it's disappointing when you concede late in the game, but you have to [keep] some perspective.... If we weren't creating chances, I'd be more worried."

Angel City is on the road again next Saturday, March 30, at 12:30 p.m. Pacific against the Kansas City Current. That match will be available on ESPN and ESPN+.