30 June 2020

Utah Royals in stunning comeback against Houston Dash to draw 3-3 in NWSL Challenge Cup

Utah Royals came back from being 3-1 down against Houston Dash to end the game with a 3-3 draw in the National Women’s Soccer League’s Challenge Cup.

Arguably the most thrilling match of the tournament so far, the game saw six goals and three yellow cards.

Both sides started the game slowly, stringing a few passes together before losing possession.

Dash captain Rachel Daly, left, celebrates her first goal (Twitter: Houston Dash)

They also both had shots at goal, the best coming from Dash's Katie Stengal after a free kick from captain Rachel Daly. Royals' goalkeeper Abby Smith made a fantastic save to keep Dash at bay.

There was also drama as the first yellow card of the tournament was awarded to Royal's Amy Rodriguez for a foul on Shea Groom.

After 30 minutes both teams found their stride and Royals were the first to capitalise.

Diana Matheson scored the first goal of the match in the 34th minute after a cross from Rodriguez.

And while Royals may have thought they could go into half time leading, Dash had other ideas.

Daly found space and struck the ball to put her name on the score sheet and so heading into the break the match stood at 1-1.

As the second half started it was clear both teams were hungry for more goals.

And Dash got the half off with a bang by scoring in the first minute through Daly after a corner kick. 

The England international was denied a hat trick in the 60th minute as she was ruled offside but Dash found their third goal six minutes later through Groom.

All Dash had to do was run down the clock but Royals enacted a stunning comeback.

A yellow card was handed to Dash’s Megan Oyster in the 80th minute for handball which gave Royals a free kick from the top of the box. Spain international Vero Boquete Giadans took the kick and scored a screamer in the 81st to make it 3-2.

And Royals did not have to wait long to equalise as Tziarra King scored her first ever NWSL goal in the 88th.

Neither side could find a winner and so both took one point each from the draw.

The next match in the tournament will be played in seven hours as OL Reign face Sky Blue FC.

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