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Orlando Pride struggle to get shots on target during 1-0 road loss to Houston Dash

Orlando (0-4-1, 1 point) put zero shots on target during a 1-0 road loss to the Houston Dash (2-1-1, 7 points) Sunday, extending the Pride’s winless streak to five matches to start the season.

The Orlando Pride's Chioma Ubogagu, center, controls the ball as she dribbles past Houston Dash's Clare Polkinghorne, left, Sunday in Houston. (Wilf Thorne/ISI Photos)

Shots on target remain an issue for the struggling Orlando Pride.

The chances were there for Orlando against the Houston Dash on Sunday at BBVA Compass Stadium. Those chances just weren’t converted into moments that tested Dash goalkeeper Jane Campbell.

Orlando (0-4-1, 1 point) put zero shots on target during a 1-0 road loss to the Houston Dash (2-1-1, 7 points), extending the Pride’s winless streak to five matches to start the season. The Pride have been shut out in four of their first five matches this season under new coach Marc Skinner. 

Houston Dash forward Kealia Ohai opened the scoring in the seventh minute, sending a right-footed curler past the outstretched arms of goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer and inside the far post. It was Ohai’s first goal of the season and it was all Houston needed to secure victory.

“Sloppy goal,” Skinner said. “Another… it kind of feels like a Groundhog Day. Sloppy goal. Doing video work all week on that type of goal. This is what they’re going to do. This is how they’re going to attack you. And we’ve let a sloppy goal in. That’s the story of the game. We just don’t give ourselves an opportunity to get ahead in the game. We’re already down too early. That’s the story of the game.” 

The Pride came alive after conceding the first goal but were unable to find an equalizer in the first half. Forward Rachel Hill had opportunities to level the match in the 11th and 45th minutes, but she couldn’t get her head on crosses from Carson Pickett and Chioma Ubogagu.

Marta put a header off the crossbar in the 37th minute and sent a left-footed shot inches high in the 38th minute.

The second half was more of the same for the Pride. The chances were there, but Orlando couldn’t take advantage and level the match.

Hill remained involved with the Pride’s best chances during the second half until she was subbed off for Abby Elinsky in the 70th minute. Hill actually found the back of the net in the 52nd minute, but the offside flag was up, negating what would have been a match-tying goal.

A few other solid opportunities came and went for the Pride. A ball bounced to Emily van Egmond in the penalty area and she took a poor shot that went wide in the 64th minute. Marta sent in a free kick in the 73rd minute that was just out of reach of Alanna Kennedy at the back post.

Kopmeyer, who was starting in place of U.S. women’s national-team keeper Ashlyn Harris, kept the Dash from extending their advantage. She had eight saves, including a stop on a 1-v-1 with forward Rachel Daly in the 29th minute.

The Dash finished the match with 17 shots, nine of which were on target. The Pride had nine shots, but controlled 53 percent of the possession.

The Pride return to Orlando City Stadium to face the Portland Thorns on Saturday. Orlando lost 2-0 to the Thorns when the two sides met in Orlando City Stadium to open the season. 

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