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Marta scores brace as Dash drop sixth straight

Marta scored two goals and added two assists to lead Orlando to a 4-2 victory.

Carli Lloyd shows her frustration on the field in Houston’s 2-4 loss to Orlando. (Houston Dash vs Orlando Pride 6-17-17)
Trask Smith

Despite Carli Lloyd's return to Houston's starting eleven, the Dash were unable to secure their first win since April in a 4-1 loss to the Orlando Pride at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.

Led by Orlando's Brazilian internationals Marta and Camilla, the Pride were clinical in their finishing as the club found the back of the net on four of their six attempts on goal. Marta unveiled a counter-attacking masterpiece with her 22nd-minute goal. After a Lloyd left-footed volley resulted in a big save from Pride keeper Aubrey Bledsoe, Steph Catley cleared the ball to midfield and after a tackle near the center line, the ball fell to Marta's feet.

The Brazilian international went 1v1 against Cami Levin, created space with a stepover, switched to her left foot and drove home her strike past the outstretched hands of Lydia Williams and into the far corner.

Marta netted her second goal of the night in the 57th minute. She received a lead pass from Jasmyne Spencer behind Houston’s defensive pairing of Cari Roccaro and Poliana and placed a left-footed finish past Williams to put the Orlando up 3-0.

Throughout the match, Houston peppered the Pride with attempts on goal, but the strong play of Bledsoe and Tom Sermanni’s veteran backline held strong against the Dash attack.

Camilla opened the scoring in the 16th minute with one of the finest goals of the season. The former Dash midfielder rocketed a bending strike from well beyond the 18-yard box into the top right corner.

In the 63rd minute, Kealia Ohai had her best chance of the night. Ohai received a ball from Carli Lloyd, took a faint touch to angle herself between Kristen Edmonds and another Pride defender and fired her strike just wide of the far post. Five minutes later, however, Alanna Kennedy scored a header from point-blank range off Marta’s corner kick.

Lloyd and Poliana both led the Dash with a team-high three shots on goal, but it was the latter and Nichelle Prince that provided Houston’s two late goals. Poliana glanced fellow Brazilian international Andressinha’s free kick into the back of the net for her team-leading third goal of the season.

Prince’s first professional goal came in the dying seconds of the match. The Canadian international was propelled behind Orlando's backline by a through ball from Amber Brooks and placed her 1v1 strike beyond Bledsoe’s reach.

With the loss, Houston’s record falls to a league-worst 2-7-0. The Dash will have an opportunity to avenge tonight’s defeat as the club will face the Pride in Orlando next Saturday at Orlando City Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 CT.