Analysis: Angel City FC (a). Orlando Posts A Huge Win In La-La Land.
Make no mistake about it, this was a huge win for the Orlando Pride.
It's a win that moves the team within touching distance of the play-off places. There's only 2 games to go, and only one way out of our play-off wilderness. One way out. One way out... Let's just hope we can swim at the end of it.
A deserved triumph
It was a game the Pride deserved to win as well. The statistics may lie in the home team's favour (figure 1), but they only tell half a story. By and large the Pride limited Angel City to potshots and half chances.
The Pride defended brilliantly; for all of the home side's bluster in carving out 21 shots at goal, they only created 1 big chance through Claire Emslie and Mary Alice Vignola. Orlando held their shape well and out fought their opponents in every major defensive statistic, winning more tackles, interceptions, blocks and clearances (figure 2). They also won more duels, more ground duels and more aerial challenges (figure 3).
Every time there was a loose ball there was a Pride shirt there. They battled for everything. You can see it in the screenshots in figures 4 (they get a bit of good fortune here, but luck is to be earned) and 5. They did everything they could to grind out that win, and I doing so they have given themselves a heck of a chance to make the play-offs.
Figure 1 shows the overall stats for both teams.
Figure 2 shows the defensive stats for both teams, whole 90.
Figure 3 shows the duelling stats for both teams.
Figure 4 is a game still from the first half.
Figure 5 is a game still from the second half.
The Brazilian has had a transformative effect on this team. The leadership and quality of the former Arsenal defender has been vital to the continued growth of this team's defensive unit.
This was arguably one of her best games for the club; she won 2 tackles, 2 blocks, 4 clearances, 3 interceptions and made 10 recoveries. She led by example. Her presence is, no doubt, proving beneficial to Emily Madril. Madril had another storming game. Since the 2 have become a pair, Orlando have only conceded 4 goals in 5 games, chalking up 2 clean sheets in that time.
As much as I might wax lyrical about the team's defending, they needed a match winner.
And they got one. Adriana notched her 6th goal of the season with a thumping volley. The technique she displays is absolutely phenomenal. Eyes on the ball all the way, body over the ball and perfect balance. It's a magnificent hit.
One worthy of winning any game.
Moorhouse -7- Did OK but Nelson can feel hard done by.
McCutcheon -8- Solid as ever.
Rafaelle -8- A rock.
Madril -8- Another rock.
Strom -8- Defended excellently.
Listro -7- Combative in midfield.
Cluff -7- Kept possession well.
Watt -7- Full of energy.
Marta -7- Made everything tick.
Doyle -7- Ran the line well.
Adriana -8- What a hit.
Abello -7- Provided energy.
Bright -7- Fought hard.
Martinez -6- Came in very late.
Montefusco -6- Came in very late.
Jimenez -6- Came in very late.
Orlando Pride head coach Seb Hines
"A monumental result today. I think we showed a different side to us. It wasn’t pretty from our side, but Adr[iana] takes a shot and it is a great finish. You are 1-0 up and we weathered a lot of their attacks. Angel City played well, they put us under a lot of pressure and made us defend and the players stood up to the challenge. It is not an easy environment to come into but most importantly we come away with three points and keep moving up that table.”
Top player image and cover image courtesy of Orlando Pride.
Game still courtesy of CBS Sports/NWSL.
Media availability footage and b-roll footage courtesy of Orlando Pride.