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OCT 27
3:30 PM ET
ESPN
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Red Stars win 1-0 despite Alex Morgan’s return, late dramatics from the Pride
Pride goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe nearly scored in the 92nd minute

Pride goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe nearly scored a game-tying goal in a wild sequence in the final minutes of stoppage time but the Chicago Red Stars hung on to a 1-0 win at Orlando City Stadium.

Alex Morgan made her return to Orlando, but the Red Stars spoiled the 5,476 person party on a rainy night in Orlando, Florida.

With Orlando trailing 1-0 in the 92nd minute, the Pride sent Bledsoe into the box on a corner kick. Camila’s corner went to Bledsoe, wide open at the far post. The goalkeeper headed it with her forehead, down and towards the far post. It bounced past Red Stars keeper Alyssa Naeher, but midfielder Danielle Colaprico, guarding the post, bent down and headed it off the line. Colaprico’s clearance eventually fell to Pride captain Ali Krieger near the top of the box, but her shot was denied by the crossbar.

 

“I thought, this is my moment, I’m going to score,” Bledsoe told reporters after the game. “It actually hit me right in the face. I saw the replay back, it actually was still a decent effort, but I did not mean for that to hit my face. I thought I was going to volley it.”

It’s the second time this year that Colaprico has made a header save off the line. Her effort in Week 7 vs. the North Carolina Courage was named NWSL Save of the Week.

After a slow first half for the Red Stars that saw the Pride dominate possession, Chicago took control in the second half.

Red Stars forward Christen Press converted a penalty in the 68th minute, for her fifth goal of the season, after Pride defender Toni Pressley fouled Red Stars defender Casey Short in the box.

Short subbed into the match in the 66th minute and earned the penalty just one minute later.

 

 

Morgan made her 2017 debut in the 65th minute. The Pride forward had been recovering from a strained hamstring she suffered while playing with Olympique Lyonnais earlier this year. She was officially added to the Pride roster for this season on June 21, but missed the last two Pride games because of her hamstring.

It was the first time that Morgan and Marta were on the field in the same professional jersey since the 2011 Women’s Professional Soccer title game, when they won a league championship in Morgan’s pro rookie season.

 

It didn’t take long for the two to connect on a dangerous play as a long cross into the box from Marta hit the head of Morgan in the 75th minute. Morgan’s shot was a bit too high and Naeher jumped up to catch it, but Pride midfielder Alanna Kennedy also went for the ball. Kennedy collided with Naeher on the challenge and her header went over the bar, but Kennedy was called for a foul on the play.

 

 

The Pride fell to 4-5-3 (15 points) with the loss. The Red stars improved to 7-3-2 with 23 points, just one shy of first-place North Carolina.

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