Houston Dash fell to the Kansas City Current 2-1 at Children’s Mercy Park, a result that continues their wretched form so far in the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup and ending their hopes of making the semi-finals.
The home side were missing some big names in the form of Lynn Williams, Sam Mewis and Chloe Logarzo. For Dash, they welcomed back Rachel Daly who had been away on international duty for the Lionesses.
It was a start to forget for The Houston Dash when their keeper, Jane Campbell, was dispossessed outside her box only for Katie Naughton to spare her blushes by clearing for a corner. The resulting corner was turned in by Kristen Hamilton who headed in powerfully from close range.
The Current exerted their dominance but there was a stark reminder of the risk posed by Dash and had it not been for a smart save by Adrianna Franch from an Michelle Alozie shot then they would have found themselves level.
Houston Dash grew in confidence and Maria Sanchez was next to go close. Her shot from the centre of the goal and just outside the box was dipping but not enough to fall under the bar but it did hit the top of the net, much to the relief of the home fans.
As the half progressed there was very little action of note as it became scrappy and this is how it ended at half time.
Looking to get their way back into the match Houston Dash brought on Daly and Ryan Garies at half time in place of Alozie and Allysha Chapman. The Lionesses’ full-back was restored to her more attacking role that she operates when turning out for the Dash.
Their impact seeming to have paid off as Dash did find themselves level in the 59th minute when an unmarked Shea Groom headed in from a lovely cross by Sanchez.
Substitution after substitution seems to ruin any hope either side had of building any momentum and as it was looking like both teams were playing out a draw that suited neither, Victoria Pickett scored what turned out to be the winner in the 80th minute, she’d only been on the field for two minutes. Her shot from close range went through the legs of the on rushing Campbell.
The home side was able to hang on despite five minutes of injury time, probably for all the million substitutions that were going on.
The Challenge Cup victory moves the Current to first place in the NWSL’s Central Division, with ten points earned from their first five matches of the year. Houston will close out the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup against Racing Louisville FC on April 24 at PNC Stadium.