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Marta makes her NWSL debut as Orlando and Washington tie
Marta came into the match in the 59th minute
Orlando Pride forward Marta played 31 minutes in her NWSL debut. (Photo credit: Jeremy Reper/isiphotos.com)
Orlando Pride forward Marta played 31 minutes in her NWSL debut. (Photo credit: Jeremy Reper/isiphotos.com)

Marta made her NWSL debut, but Danica Evans was the hero for Orlando on Saturday. The rookie scored the game-tying goal for the Pride in the 86th minute as Orlando and Washington tied 1-1. The game marked the Pride’s first home game at the new Orlando City Stadium and took place in front of a crowd of 14,452 fans.  

With all the attention on the five-time FIFA World Player of the Year, who subbed into the match in the 59th minute, it was Evans, another second half sub, who scored the first goal of her NWSL career. With Orlando trailing 1-0 late, Evans took a pass in the box from Chioma Ubogagu, somehow dribbling it through several Washington defenders and around Spirit goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé to tie the game 1-1.

Marta very nearly scored the game-winner in stoppage time, as Kristen Edmonds found Marta streaking down the left side of the field. But Labbé did well to cut down the already tight angle, and Marta’s far post shot just barely missed.

Marta came into the match in the 59th minute to a loud, standing ovation from the Pride fans, but the Spirit were uninterested in issuing a warm NWSL welcome to the Brazilian super star, scoring one minute later as Line Sigvardsen Jensen tallied her first NWSL goal off a Washington corner kick.

At halftime of the match, the NWSL announced that Orlando City Stadium will host the NWSL Championship on October 14, 2017.

 

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