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Barbra Banda braces Orlando Pride to fourth win of the season

Copper Queens’ captain Barbra Banda scored a brace and set up another as Orlando Pride recorded their third fourth win of the season. 

Pride beat North Carolina Courage 4-1 to record a fourth straight win of the 2024 National Women’s Soccer League regular season. 

Banda set up the opener in the 29th minute as she sprinted from her own half before threading a neat pass into the path of Ally Watt who made no mistake. 

Banda then turned finisher, scoring off Watt’s assist in the 40th minute in a move she started. 

The Zambian international was in her element as she was also involved in the third goal, Banda went past two defenders before unleashing a shot which the Courage goalkeeper failed to deal with , and was then finished off by Julie Doyle two minutes into additional time. 

Courage pulled one back seven minutes into the second half thanks to an own goal from Emily Sams. 

Kylie Strom thought she had gotten her first goal of the season but after a lengthy VAR review the goal was disallowed for an offside in the build up. 

Banda was not finished as she restored Prides’ three goal lead as she went through the Courage defence before scoring with a beautiful low shot. 

The Zambia Women’s National Team star player was withdrawn in the 83rd minute after a knock. 

Courage started pushing to come back in the final minutes of the game but Pride held on to win the game and move to third place with 15 points. 

They are still unbeaten after seven games with four wins and three draws. 

Barbra Banda has now been involved in five goals in the three games she has played so far (3 goals and 2 assists).

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