ORLANDO, Fla. — North Carolina's Debinha scored just 2 minutes into the game as the Courage shut out the Orlando Pride 3-0 on Wednesday night in NWSL action at Exploria Stadium.
What You Need To Know
- The North Carolina Courage defeated the Orlando Pride 3-0 Wednesday
- The loss ensured the Pride cannot make the NWSL playoffs this year
- Orlando's final home game of the season is Sunday at 7 p.m.
The loss knocked Orlando out of contention for a playoff spot. The Pride are in ninth place with 21 points, nine points back of sixth-place Chicago. The top six teams in the table advance to the playoffs. With just two games left in the regular season, Orlando cannot earn enough points to advance to the playoffs.
The victory put North Carolina just two points behind Chicago, keeping the Courage in the playoff hunt.
The Courage's Tess Boade scored their second goal just before the half on an assist from Debinha, who notched their final goal in the 53rd minute.
“[A game] defined by three moments really," Pride interim coach Seb Hines said. "It’s always difficult when you go down a goal so early on, but I felt like we didn’t really get out of control. I didn’t think the game really got away from us, and it was defined by a couple of moments that North Carolina took. We had chances, we had chances to attack and get something on frame, and it could be a completely different result if we take those moments.”
In the loss, Hines made seven changes to his starting lineup from the Pride’s previous match against Racing Louisville, with Erin McLeod, Celia, Carrie Lawrence, Gunny Jónsdóttir, Ally Watt, Leah Pruitt and Kerry Abello all appearing. In the 71st minute, Haley Bugeja made her Pride debut, becoming the fourth-youngest player to appear in an NWSL match.
The Pride play their final home game of the season at 7 p.m. Sunday against San Diego Wave FC at Exploria Stadium.