Heading into the matchup against the Dash, Tom Sermanni said he told his players that they needed to find a way to win.
A winless start to the season came to an end Sunday afternoon after Christine Nairn connected, for the second game in a row, with Chioma Ubogagu to lift the Orlando Pride to a 1-0 victory over the Houston Dash at Orlando City Stadium.
“We talked about finding a way to win, which was important that we felt that particularly in the first game here and then the Washington game,” Sermanni said after the game. “We kind of lost games that we could’ve won and today was a really important game for us to win and the players found a way to win and that’s a good attribute to have.”
After a dull and lackluster performance in the first half, the Pride (1-2-1, 4 points) came out more aggressive against a defensively tight Dash side, who’s still winless in the season.
In the 65th minute, a free-kick from Nairn connected with an unmarked Ubogagu to head the ball past Houston goalkeeper Jane Campbell for the eventual game winner.
“She a great player, she’s got that finesse on the final touch of the ball,” Ubogagu said on connecting with Nairn, again, for another goal. “I think that’s something really important. When you have a lot of forwards like we do in our team, great forwards, you can score goals. When you have someone like Nairn’s quality to just play you through, it makes your job a lot easy.”
The Pride could have doubled the lead in the 83rd minute when Sydney Leroux rifled a shot on target, only to hit the bottom-left post to keep Orlando’s lead the same.
The Pride also recorded their first shutout of the season after Sunday’s result.
The Pride continue their homestand on Saturday when they host the Seattle Reign at Orlando City Stadium at 7:30 p.m.
Announced attendance: 3,890
Here’s how the Pride lined up
Orlando Pride XI: Ashlyn Harris (c); Ali Krieger, Toni Pressley, Shelina Zadorsky, Carson Pickett (Rachel Hill 64′); Dani Weatherholt, Christine Nairn, Kristen Edmonds; Chioma Ubogagu ( Abby Elinsky 81)’, Alex Morgan, Sydney Leroux (Danica Evans 90′).
Orlando Pride subs not used Haley Kopmeyer, Lotta Okvist, Bridget Callahan, Nadia Gomes.
(Photo Courtesy of Adrian Hernandez Photography)
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