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Dash rally to second-half comeback against Kansas City

Sitting at the very bottom of the table going into Sunday night’s match-up, the Houston Dash (4-7-1, 13 points) were in desperate need of a win, and win they did, defeating FC Kansas City (3-5-4, 13 points), 2-1. The win sees the Dash climb all the way up to seventh place in league standings with the head-to-head tiebreaker putting them ahead of FCKC right as the season hits the midway point.

Although the two teams almost evenly split possession, the Dash out-shot the Blues 17-13, putting nine shots on goal in comparison to FCKC’s three. That—and a controversial yellow card in the 62nd minute—gave Houston just enough of an edge to earn three points on the road.

The two teams were neck-and-neck throughout the first half, and it looked as though the game would remain scoreless at the end of the first half. Three minutes of stoppage time were added, but Kansas City only need one of those to get on the board. In the first minute of stoppage time, Christina Gibbons played a cross in from the left flank, with Sydney Leroux ducking so it could fall at Shea Groom’s feet. With her back to the goal, Groom spun to turn and fire off a shot, beating Campbell to score her first goal of the season and give the home side the advantage going into the half.

FCKC wouldn’t enjoy their lead for long though, as the Dash would net an equalizer in the 55th minute. Carli Lloyd played a perfectly-weighted through ball in for Rachel Daly, who then used her speed to prevent Becky Sauerbrunn from catching up to her as she went one-on-one with goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart. As Barnhart came off her line, Daly took a shot, which Barnhart was able to parry away. However, the rebound landed right at Daly’s feet, and Daly easily knocked it into the back of the net to level the score.

The tide really started turning in Houston’s direction after that, and even more so after Lo’eau Lobanta was shown her second yellow card in the match (35’ and 62’, both for fouls on Andressinha) and ejected from the match. That meant the home side would have to play a player down, undesirable against any team in a league known for its parity.

It didn’t take long for Houston to capitalize on Labonta’s exit, scoring off a set piece that started with the free kick awarded to the Dash for the foul on Andressa. Amber Brooks took the free kick, playing it into the box where it took a bounce in front of Nichelle Prince. Prince let the ball take a second bounce before half-volleying it past Sauerbrunn and Barnhart to put the Dash ahead.

FCKC were able to get better organized after Prince’s goal and prevented the Dash from furthering their lead. Kansas City continued fighting, and in the 69th minute nearly evened things back up as Brittany Ratcliffe sent in a hard shot roller from distance, but Campbell just got a finger on it to redirect it off the crossbar to deny Ratcliffe and FCKC of the equalizer.

With the loss, FC Kansas City slips one spot into 8th place, but there’s still another half of the season to come. The next challenge for FC Kansas City is a road match against fourth-ranked Sky Blue FC on Saturday, July 8 at 7 p.m. ET at Yurcak Field. The last time the two teams met, Sky Blue managed to claw out a 1-0 win off a late Raquel Rodriguez goal and Sky Blue is coming off a similar win over the North Carolina Courage, so FCKC will have their work cut out for them. As for Houston, they’ll face the Portland Thorns for the first time this season on Saturday, July 8 at 8:30 p.m. ET at BBVA Compass Stadium.

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