The Chicago Red Stars took the ball and started to create danger in the final third. They had two important looks in the first minutes of the match. One of them gave Sam Kerr the opportunity to shot from long distance and smash the ball right into the crossbar.
A key sub
The night didn't start well for the visitors. Alex Morgan got sandwiched while chasing a ball along by two Red Stars just before minute 15, and she had to be replaced by Chioma Ubogagu. That changed Orlando head coach Marc Skinner's plans completely while left Orlando without their most important piece on the attack.
Nonetheless, that early sub proved key when, in the 33rd minute, she sent a service to the box to a running Rachel Hill. She headed the ball, and although she was being tracked down by Sarah Gorden, she found the opening goal against all odds.
Chicago didn’t want to go to halftime losing and had some good looks before the first half ended but some great saves by Ashlyn Harris denied them the opportunity to equalize.
Claire Emslie had a good night on the attack for Orlando but the real MVP of the team was the defense that tracked down Sam Kerr & Co. all night, doing what was needed in to stop Chicago from scoring. A key moment came just seconds after the second half started, when Kerr got the ball after a Yuki Nagasato through ball and left her defender behind. The defender recovered and marked Kerr really well until Harris was able to block the forward shot.
Hill returned Ubogagu´s favor in the 61st minute when both forwards combined and found the second goal of the night. Ubogagu passed the ball to Hill and she waited for her teammate to make a run inside the box to pass it again. Chioma finished with a diagonal ball that Red Stars goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher couldn’t stop.
Chicago´s midfield vanished for much of the game, but its attack kept working anyway and Harris stopped the Red Stars attempts on goal. Sam Kerr didn’t give up and slipped through Orlando’s defense in the 90th minute with Orlando defender Alanna Kennedy having no other choice but to pulled her down from behind to deny her Aussie teammate a clear goal scoring opportunity. The referee didn’t hesitate and gave her a straight red card.
With one player down, Orlando bunkered on its side of the field while Chicago was relentless on the attack on the final minutes of the match and was rewarded for it. In the 90+6th minute, Savannah McCaskill shot a ball that hit the crossbar but Tierna Davidson took the rebound and scored.
Alas, it was already too late and two minutes later the referee blew the final whistle and Orlando Pride got the three points.