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OCT 27
3:30 PM ET
ESPN
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Morgan, Fishlock trade late goals as Pride and Reign draw 1-1
The Pride would've clinched a playoff berth with a win
Orlando Pride forward Alex Morgan scored her ninth goal of the season on Thursday night. (Photo credit: Jeremy Reper/isiphotos.com)
Orlando Pride forward Alex Morgan scored her ninth goal of the season on Thursday night. (Photo credit: Jeremy Reper/isiphotos.com)

In yet another remarkable ending — in a 2017 NWSL season filled with quite a few — Pride forward Alex Morgan and Reign midfielder Jess Fishlock both scored in the final minutes of stoppage time as Orlando and Seattle tied 1-1 in front of a crowd of 4,341 at Orlando City Stadium.

The Pride are now 10-6-6 with 36 points and move into third place, one point ahead of the Red Stars. The Reign are in fifth place 8-7-7 with 31 points.

The game was originally scheduled for Saturday, but was moved up two days because of Hurricane Irma.

The Pride came into the game needing a win to clinch a playoff spot and for a brief moment, it looked like they had gotten the victory.

Morgan — no stranger to dramatic late goals — scored her ninth goal of the season in the 92nd minute to give Orlando a 1-0 lead. Dani Weatherholt earned her first assist of the season on the goal. With four minutes of added time scheduled, the Pride were just moments away from their first ever playoff berth.

But the Reign had other ideas — and just two minutes later, Fishlock headed in a cross from Nahomi Kawasumi to level the score. The assist is Kawasumi’s league-leading ninth of the season, just one shy of tying the single-season record of 10 set by Portland Thorns FC midfielder Tobin Heath last year.

 

 

Fishlock’s game-tying goal came in her 100th career NWSL match.

 

With the NWSL heading into an international break, Orlando will now have to wait until at least September 23, when they host second-place Portland, for another chance to punch their ticket to the playoffs.

 

The draw also keeps the Reign’s playoff hopes alive for at least another game as they would’ve been eliminated with a loss and a Red Stars win on Saturday.

 

Thursday’s meeting between the top two offenses, a combined 80 goals between the two teams coming into the game, produced no goals in the first 90 minutes — though not for lack of trying.

 

Reign forward Megan Rapinoe started for the first time since returning from injury last week and nearly scored in the 26th minute. Rapinoe took a shot from well outside the penalty area, but Pride goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris made a diving save and midfielder Alanna Kennedy cleared away the rebound.

 

 

Both Rapinoe and Pride forward Marta, currently tied for second in the league in goals scored, came into the game in search of their 13th goal of the season, but neither would find a way on the scoresheet.

 

Marta came close to forcing an own goal in the 15th minute, but the header clearance by Merritt Mathias went just over the crossbar.

 

 

Pride rookie forward Rachel Hill, who scored a brace last week, nearly scored on a header in the 47th minute, but her close-range somehow hit off the crossbar and went out for a goal kick.

 

 

Just two minutes later, on a quick corner kick taken by Morgan and played to the feet of Camila at the top of the penalty area, Reign goalkeeper Lydia Williams punched away Camila’s shot, sending it out wide for a throw-in and out of danger.

 

Williams was acquired at the end of August in a trade with the Dash. She made her first start with Seattle on Sunday and earned a shutout.

Before the stoppage time drama, Reign rookie forward Katie Johnson got onto the end of a well-placed through ball from Kawasumi, but her shot was just high.

 

Rapinoe took the last kick of the game, but her shot was well over the crossbar.

The Reign will next play host to FC Kansas City on September 24 and the Pride will host the Thorns on September 23.

 

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