For 70 minutes, the Houston Dash looked down and out, on the road, against Orlando Pride. The Pride scored first and dominated possession in the physical contest on Wednesday night, but the Dash closed the match scoring two consecutive goals to earn a 2-1 comeback victory at Orlando City Stadium.
In the 79th minute, Kealia Ohai’s cross from the left flank drifted towards the far post and fell over a leaping Ashlyn Harris and into the top corner to level the score at 1-1.
Four minutes later, the Dash were awarded a penalty kick after Ohai sprinted down the left flank, cut inside the box, and her cross towards the far post deflected off Monica’s hand. Sofia Huerta stepped up to the spot and converted the penalty kick to complete the comeback and put the Dash ahead 2-1. Houston held off Orlando’s late push to earn the important road victory.
From the opening minutes, Orlando’s attack led by Alex Morgan, Marta and Kristen Edmonds put an enormous amount of pressure on the Dash backline. Morgan, the focal point, used her speed and skill to maneuver through Houston’s backline and create opportunities for Orlando.
In the 12th minute, Morgan earned a penalty kick after colliding with Clare Polkinghorne inside the box. Morgan sent Jane Campbell in the wrong direction but failed to score as her penalty kick attempt struck the far post.
Orlando increased the pressure in search for a goal. Morgan was denied by Campbell and the Dash keeper followed that up with a terrific kick save in the 18th minute on Edmonds’ left footed strike from inside the box.
The Pride finally broke through in the 22nd minute, as a wide open Morgan received Shelina Zadorsky’s pass at the far post and rolled her finish into the back of the net to give Orlando a 1-0 lead. Houston contested for an offside call on the play but the referees determined that Morgan wasn’t in an offside position.
A total of five yellow cards were handed out in the match. Orlando players Carson Pickett, Monica, Sydney Leroux and Christine Nairn were each booked, while Dash defender Allysha Chapman also received caution. The Pride dominated in possession 60 percent to Houston’s mark of 40 percent.
With the victory, Houston sit in seventh place in the league table with a 4-5-5 record (17 pts) two points behind Portland Thorns FC for the final playoff spot. While Orlando (6-4-4, 22 pts) remain in second place, eleven points behind the first-place North Carolina Courage.
The Dash will look to continue their playoff push next Saturday against Seattle Reign FC. Kickoff is scheduled for 9:00 CT.