In one of the goals of the 2013 Swedish Damallsvenskan league season, a Pitea attacker outpaced two Tyreso defenders before finishing clinically to give her team the lead against a star side featuring Brazil's Marta.
It is fair to say that the grainy online highlights of the game never went viral and the fans of both clubs probably account for many of its views but that goal certainly caught the eye of Washington Spirit coach Mark Parsons, who watched it on repeat. The reason? He wanted to be sure he was making the right decision in making a move for the forward in question, Francisca Ordega, just over a year after that moment of magic.
Parsons ultimately took the plunge and recruited Ordega to a high-flying Washington squad that boasts former Tyreso defender Ali Krieger and goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris - both of whom she outfoxed on that fateful day. Then, a mere few months after making the switch to the American capital, Nigeria striker Ordega faced USA stalwart Krieger again – with Harris on the bench – at the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015™.
Ordega was denied in a 1-0 defeat for the Super Falcons, but the occasion was the perfect excuse to revisit this shared Swedish memory. "Of course I remember that goal," Ordega told FIFA.com in the bowels of Vancouver's BC Place Stadium. "When I saw them again [after moving to the Spirit], they said to me, 'You're the one who scored against us,' to which I replied, 'Yes, and I'm going to keep scoring and scoring.’”
Jet heels vs jetlag
Krieger, a regular in defence for USA, has a different recollection. "It was the first match I was playing in Sweden and I'd only landed the previous day," she said. "I was still jetlagged. It's not a particularly fond memory. She beat me in a one on one before scoring. Let's just put it down to jetlag," she added, laughing.
Fast-forward a year and it was Ordega who was facing a foreign challenge. "I remember when I saw her again in DC. I didn't know that she was joining and I didn't really know her very well," the full-back recalled. "She felt a bit awkward and shy. She had just arrived in the USA and was thrust into a tight-knit team. That mustn't have been easy, but she's settled in really well.”
Ordega only had five matches to get up to speed with her new club prior to the World Cup, but she already has two National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) goals to her name, much to Krieger's delight. "Nigeria are a footballing nation we have a lot of respect for and who always have great players," the former 1. FFC Frankfurt defender said. "When you find out that one of their best players is signing for your team, you're naturally pleased. She's fast, athletic and still young, with big scope for improvement. I'm very happy to play alongside her," the stopper went on, although her injury problems in the last few months have prevented the pair from lining up together often.
Quite whether Krieger would have relished more one-on-ones against the Nigerian here in Canada is another story. "Unfortunately I played on the right wing and Ali is a right-back, so we weren't directly up against one another," said Ordega wistfully after a second loss in three games ended her team's hopes in the competition. "We met up the evening before and talked about the game," she revealed, noting that the pair had discussed what a win or loss would have meant for each of them. As it was, Abby Wambach's volley condemned Ordega and Co. to an early exit.
From television to the silver screen?
Ordega will obviously head back to her club with a heavy heart, but she is nevertheless excited about what lies in store for her in the USA, both on and off the pitch. At the U-20 Women's World Cup Japan in 2012, the young markswoman let FIFA.com in on her dream of acting in Hollywood. She has by no means given up on this idea: "What I said still stands! The opportunity to go to the USA arose and I seized it because the time had come for me to move on. But it wasn't only about football. There are lots of things you can do and I know I'm not going to play football for the rest of my life."
The 21-year-old has yet to begin acting classes because of a lack of time and due to her intensive preparations for the World Cup, but they are high up on her to-do list for the coming months. "I'm also going to work towards that goal, but right now if I had to choose between football and a casting call, I'd prioritise the former," Ordega said level-headedly. The Nigerian's dream is news to Krieger: "She never told us about it!" said the American, before enthusing "I really hope it happens for her one day, but only once we've won lots of trophies together!”
The young forward will have to watch on TV while her club team-mate continues her quest for the world crown. Who knows, though: perhaps one day the roles will be reversed, with Krieger following Ordega's performances on the silver screen.