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Dash, Royals play to wild 3-3 draw

Photo Copyright Lewis Gettier for The Equalizer

The Houston Dash and Utah Royals FC played to a 3-3 draw on Tuesday in each team’s opening match of the 2020 National Women’s Soccer League Challenge Cup. Utah scored twice in the final 10 minutes to erase a two-goal deficit, including an 89th-minute equalizer from rookie Tziarra King in her debut.

King got on the end of a free kick which bounced inside the box and headed it past Houston goalkeeper Jane Campbell for the final goal of the day.

Seven minutes earlier, Vero Boquete got Utah within striking distance, finishing a free kick from right on the 18-yard-box.

Diana Matheson opened the scoring for Utah in the 35th minute, but Houston equalized in first-half stoppage time through Rachel Daly. Two minutes after halftime, Daly put the Dash ahead when she nodded in Kristie Mewis’ corner kick.

Daly looked to have a hat trick in the second half when she blocked a drop-kick from Utah goalkeeper Abby Smith and tapped the ball into the net, but the goal was called back for interference. Shortly after, Shea Groom doubled Houston’s lead.

Utah chipped away at that lead late after many substitutions for both teams, including Daly stepping off with a slight tweak to her groin, which she said postgame was not a major issue.

The Royals came out in a 3-5-2 formation, which Dash coach James Clarkson said surprised him.

Most players kneeled pregame during the national anthem.

Further analysis to follow.

DISCUSS: What did you think of the game? Which player stood out?

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