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Morgan nets brace, Da Costa scores as Orlando defeats Boston

Amanda Da Costa got a bittersweet parting gift as she scored from the spot in her last minute of professional soccer in front of a sellout crowd, but the Breakers lost to Orlando 1-2.

Boston had the first chance of the match in the 4th minute, when Ifeoma Onumonu rose above an Orlando defender to put a header on frame off a free kick. Ashlyn Harris deflected the shot, hitting the post with her head in the process, and the ball was eventually kicked out for a Boston corner.

In the 8th minute, Marta sent a corner kick to far post, which was deflected out. The ball was recycled back in by first Dani Weatherholt, then Ali Krieger, before falling fortuitously to Morgan, who poked it in the goal as she was losing her balance.

Orlando spent much of the first half with the majority of the possession. Abby Smith came up big multiple times, denying both Camila and Morgan twice, including a great save against Morgan in the 26th minute. The Breakers did well to keep numbers behind the ball and threatened on the counter at times but were lacking the final ball. Onumonu had a very energetic game and was a persistent threat.

Orlando started off the second half as they’d finished it, on the front foot. In the 51st minute Marta came inches away from scoring directly off a corner kick, but Smith tipped it over the crossbar.

The game began to bog down with fouls, bookings, and injuries. Jasmyne Spencer subbed on but quickly subbed off again after an injury, leading Orlando to play with 10 before Jamia Fields eventually came on. Megan Oyster was forced to temporarily leave the game in the 73rd minute for fear of a head injury, and Morgan scored again in the interim.

Krieger took a free kick at midfield and sent it long for Morgan, who was wide open at the top of the box. She chested it down, took a touch to settle, and chipped it with her right foot over Smith for her second brace in as many games.

The game really opened up after this as Boston shifted formation in attempt to mount a comeback. Rosie White and second half sub Adriana Leon both had chances, although as before, Orlando maintained a majority of the possession and the Breakers couldn’t get any truly dangerous shots on frame.

Four minutes of stoppage time were initially added, although it was likely extended due to Fields briefly going down with an ankle injury. In the 96th minute, Boston was awarded a penalty kick after Fields tripped up Leon in the corner of the box. Leon stayed down for several minutes, but eventually Da Costa, wearing the captain’s armband, stepped to the spot. She sent it to her left and although the placement could have been better, it was taken with enough power that Harris, who guessed right, couldn’t get there in time. This would prove to be the last play of the game and of Da Costa’s professional soccer career.

Orlando is now on a three-game winning streak and currently in fourth place on a tiebreaker with Chicago. They travel to Kansas City next week. Boston sits in ninth place and travels to Sky Blue next weekend.

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