OL Reign 0
Houston Dash 2
NWSL Challenge Cup Match 2
July 4, 2020
OL Reign and Houston Dash finished up the slate of 2nd matches for the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup in Utah on Saturday night.
Both sides entered the night with a point from their first matches, although the draws were very different in regards to the scorelines. The OLR offense did not find the back of the net, while the defense kept a clean sheet. Houston scored three, but their defense dropped two late goals to finish the match a 3-3 draw.
Early matches and game play has meant a good amount of possession for OLR, but those opportunities and set pieces have not paid off. OLR had a number of first third chances and corners, but remained goal less going into the first hydration break after 30 minutes.
Houston capitalized on high pressure leading to the opening goal of the match early in the 12th minute from Kristie Mewis. Mewis’ strike from 15 yards was clean and low and wide and beat OLR keeper Casey Murphy.
A one nil lead was a great place to go into the interval for Houston. OLR was still looking for their first goal of the tournament.
The early second half continued to move Houston’s way. A 54th minute header by Shea Groom put the Dash in control.
The Dash have now scored five goals in the first two matches. They did not give up a goal in match two and finished off OLR to move in to 2nd place half way through the group phase.
OL Reign have a lot of questions still to answer. They still have players like Jessica Fishlock and Sofia Huerta who have yet to play, and that may solve some of the offense, but until they play it doesn’t really matter. After two matches they have one point and no goals.
Match day 3 is where things start to really set up for the quarterfinal, the match that really matters.