A dramatic late equalizer from Reign FC forward Ifeoma Onumonu wasn’t enough to keep the club in the playoffs against the North Carolina Courage Sunday. The Courage emerged victorious after extra time, 4-1.
Onumonu, who subbed on in the 80th minute, scored her equalizer in the third minute of second half stoppage time. The forward met a low cross from Celia wide of the right post and turned and fired a low shot past Courage keeper Stephanie Labbe to force extra time.
The goal pulled Reign FC level just minutes after Courage’s Heath O’Reilly converted a penalty in the 88th minute. O’Reilly fired her shot low and to the right as Reign FC keeper Casey Murphy dove the other way.
In extra time, North Carolina’s Debinha curled a free kick over the wall for what proved to be the game-winner in the 99th minute. A low cross from North Carolina’s Kristen Hamilton deflected off Lauren Barnes and went in for an own goal seven minutes later, while Courage’s forward Crystal Dunn iced the match with a finish past Murphy in the 108th.
North Carolina put Reign FC under pressure from the opening whistle, outshooting the club 34-7, including a 14-4 advantage in shots on goal. Reign FC’s back line stood firm, however, making 47 clearances to force the match to go the extra half hour.
Reign FC keeper Casey Murphy was named Reign FC’s Player of the Match. Murphy made a season-high 11 saves, making a series of crucial stops to keep the club in the match.
With the loss, Reign FC is eliminated from the playoffs. North Carolina will play in its third consecutive NWSL Championship match on Sunday, October 27.
Match: Reign FC vs. North Carolina Courage
Date: Sunday, October 20, 2019
Venue: WakeMed Soccer Park, Cary, N.C.
Kickoff: 10:30 a.m. PT
Weather: 59 degrees, cloudy
Goals by half 1 2 ET Total
RFC 0 1 0 1
NC 0 1 3 4
NC – Heather O’Reilly (penalty) 88’
RFC – Ifeoma Onumonu (Celia) 90+3’
NC – Debinha 99’
NC – Lauren Barnes (own goal) 105+1’
NC – Crystal Dunn (Sam Mewis) 107’
RFC – Allie Long (caution) 50’
Lineups & Stats
RFC: GK Casey Murphy, D Steph Catley, D Lauren Barnes, D Kristen McNabb, D Steph Cox (Shea Groom 90’), M Allie Long, M Bethany Balcer (Celia Jiménez Delgado 63’), M Bev Yanez, F Megan Rapinoe, F Jodie Taylor (Ifeoma Onumonu 80’), F Darian Jenkins (Theresa Nielsen 105’)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Lydia Williams, M Rosie White, M Morgan Andrews
Head Coach: Vlatko Andonovski
Shots on goal: 4
Corner kicks: 2
ORL: GK Stephanie Labbe, D Jaelene Hinkle, D Abby Erceg, D Abby Dahlkemper, D Heather O’Reilly, M Sam Mewis (Cari Roccaro 109’), M Denise O’Sullivan (McCall Zerboni 102’), M Debinha, F Lynn Williams (Julie Spetsmark 112’), F Jess McDonald (Kristen Hamilton 96’), F Crystal Dunn
Substitutes Not Used: GK Katelyn Rowland, D Kaleigh Kurtz, M Meredith Speck
Head Coach: Paul Riley
Shots on goal: 14
Corner kicks: 11