Van Wyk ”rises to the challenge” in Houston Dash win at Orlando Pride

Janine van Wyk played all 90 minutes as Houston Dash picked a precious 2-0 away win over Orlando Pride at the Orlando City Stadium.

In front of 5,497 fans, the Dash meted some revenge having lost 4-2 in the reverse fixture played last week.

Spotting black armbands with the inscription “DT” in respect to the late former USWNT Coach Tony DiCicco who passed earlier in the week, the mood was equally celebratory as it was somber, with players also spotting rainbow crests in commemoration of the LGBTQ Pride month.

As early as the 26th minute, Marta’s header from a lofted cross skimmed off the crossbar but Adressinha and Poliana responded in the 42nd minute for the Dash yet, the ball was cleared off the line to keep the scoreline goalless.

However, with four minutes added to the first half, Poliana sprang through the left wing before cutting back to serve Carli Lloyd just at the edge of the box. 2016’s Best Player of the Year struck a belter to give the away side the lead on the stroke of halftime. This was her second appearance after returning from her loan stint with Manchester City, and her first NWSL goal of the season.

Poliana, clearly the standout player, created a similar run on the right flank in the second half before serving an on-rushing Rachel Daly, who slot coolly past Orlando’s goalkeeper to make it 2-0 in the 61st minute.

It was all Dash after the goal, as two chances consecutively went off the post and brilliantly saved by Orlando’s goalkeeper, Aubrey Bledsoe.

Banyana Banyana skipper Van Wyk, was at the heart of the team’s first clean sheet since April 29, 2017, after six consecutive losses on a trot.

With the stellar Dash performance against the Pride which sees the team register only three wins and seven losses (no draw) this season, it got the players believing again.

After 10 matches, Houston Dash are 9th on the table with nine points while Orlando Pride stay in seventh, three points more than the away aside.

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