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Lloyd, Dash get revenge on Marta, Pride with 2-0 win
Houston snaps losing streak, but Kealia Ohai leaves injured

Turnabout’s fair play. After a Pride 4-2 win over the Dash in Houston last week, the Dash got their revenge over the Pride with a 2-0 win at Orlando City Stadium on Saturday. In front of a crowd of 5, 497, Orlando lost its first home game in its new stadium which opened earlier this year. The Pride wore rainbow numbers on their jerseys for the game in honor of LGBT Pride Month.

Carli Lloyd, the reigning two-time FIFA World Player of the Year, scored her first goal of the 2017 NWSL season, in her second game since returning to the Dash last week. Lloyd spent the first half of the year playing with Manchester City.

The win snapped a six-game losing streak for the Dash and improved their record to 3-7-0. It’s Houston’s first win since April 29.

“We’ve got to just dig deep, we’ve got to play for one another. We’ve got to work extremely hard,” Lloyd told Dalen Cuff on Lifetime following the game. “Today showed great character from the group and I’m really proud of every single one of them.”

Lloyd’s goal came in the fourth minute of first half stoppage time to make it 1-0 in favor of the Dash. Defender Poliana, who leads the Dash this season with three goals, dribbled down the right wing into the box. Without an angle for a shot, she dropped it back to Lloyd standing just outside the right corner of the box. Lloyd struck it one-time past Pride goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe for her first goal of the season.

“I was screaming really loud for it, for her to drop the ball back to me. Had a clear look on goal, just had to bend it, and it went in,” Lloyd said.

Though not officially credited with an assist, Lloyd started the play that led to Houston’s second goal in the 62nd minute with a pass to Poliana. The Dash right back raced down right wing and sent a low cross into the box, right to the feet of Rachel Daly. The forward knocked it past Bledsoe for her second goal of the season. It’s Daly’s first since her brilliant-left footed curler in Houston’s first game of the year.

 

Just before the hydration break in the second half, Dash forward Kealia Ohai went down with an apparent injury to her left knee. She stayed in the match once the game resumed, but went down again in the 74th minute after seeming to have trouble planting her left leg on a right-footed cross into the box. Ohai could be seen telling the Dash sideline that she needed to be subbed out. Nichelle Prince came into the match to replace Ohai.

Poliana nearly made it 3-0 in the 79th, but her header off a corner kick went off the post.

Marta, whose two goals and two assists led Orlando to a win last week, nearly got on the scoresheet on Saturday, though not with her legendary left foot, but with a header. From the left wing, Steph Catley sent a cross into the box, right to the head of Marta, but Dash rookie goalkeeper Jane Campbell got a hand on Marta’s effort, sending it up and off the crossbar. Campbell collected the rebound as Pride forward Jasmyne Spencer was just a few steps too late for a shot at the second ball.

 

It was Campbell’s second start of the season and first since Week 2, a 5-1 loss in Seattle, and her first career clean sheet. All three of Houston’s wins this season have been shutouts.

Orlando had a great chance to get on the board in the 85th minute off a Marta corner kick, but Campbell and the Houston defense would not break. Marta, who earned her second assist last week on a corner kick directly to the head of Alanna Kennedy, tried again to hit the Australian midfielder, but the Dash got to it first. Jamia Fields’ shot off the rebound was blocked and then Campbell cleared the ball away as Danica Evans jumped for a header on the loose ball.

Dash interim head coach Omar Morales earned her first win as an NWSL coach after taking over following the departure of Randy Waldrum.

“Mission accomplished. We worked so hard this week to really prepare for this game. At the end of the day, our team competed for 90 minutes,” Morales told Cuff after the game. “That was something we worked on this week. Making sure we compete for 90 minutes because we have the players to win the game.”

The Dash next play on Wednesday at home vs. Boston before heading to Missouri for a Sunday matchup with FC Kansas City.

“We got to gut it out, that’s what the NWSL is,” Lloyd said. “We can’t rest on this. This one’s over. It’s a good win, good result, but we’ve gotta focus on the next one.”

The Pride fell to 3-4-3 with the loss. They head to New Jersey for a Wednesday meeting with Sky Blue FC before returning home to host the Chicago Red Stars on Saturday.

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