“[It’s] great to get the first win against, at the moment, the best team in the league and the most difficult team in the league to play against. [I’m] really delighted with the effort of the players and the focus today and the way they defended because playing North Carolina, you need to do a lot of defending from corner kicks, throw-ins and other things coming into the box,” Head Coach Tom Sermanni said. “We still need to do some things a little bit better, as we always do. But I think the difference today was we got in front and that eases the pressure and allows us to play a little bit. I think getting this first result will give us the confidence to then kick on and hopefully eliminate the stuff that was costing us games previously.”
Barely over a minute after Ubogagu’s breakthrough, Camila netted her second goal of the season - and second against the Courage - with a transition goal after winning possession in the midfield. The Brazilian won the ball away from North Carolina’s Abby Dahlkemper and played a quick one-two with Jamia Fields, finishing calmly from steps inside the box.
The Pride iced the match late in the game on a goal from second-half substitute Jasmyne Spencer. After entering the match in the 62nd minute, Spencer timed a run into the box, collecting a slipped pass from Marta and burying her 11th career goal into the right side of the net.
Orlando’s offensive pressure put the Courage backline on its heels and forced Courage captain Abby Erceg into two yellow cards in transition, booked both times for impeding attackers’ runs. The second card came in the 57th minute, dropping the visitors to 10 players for the final 33 minutes of play.
Orlando next travels across the country, facing Seattle Reign FC on Sunday evening. The match will kickoff at 9:30 p.m. ET from Memorial Stadium.