Houston Dash win the NWSL Challenge Cup with a dominant 2-0 victory over Chicago Red Stars
Houston Dash have won the National Women’s Soccer League Challenge Cup after dominating Chicago Red Stars in a 2-0 victory.
And it didn't take long for Dash to go ahead after Kristie Mewis was taken down in the box by Kayla Sharples in the third minute, resulting in the first normal-time penalty of the tournament.
Sophie Schmidt stepped up and put it away in the right-hand corner.
The rest of the half saw Red Stars trying to bounce back and their best chance came in the 14th minute as Savannah McCaskill saw an open space as keeper Jane Campbell was out of position but her effort unbelievably hit the post.
In the second half, while Dash were still the stronger team, Red Stars put more chances together, the most promising coming from a free kick after Dash’s Erin Simon was given a yellow card.
McCaskill took the kick but Campbell made a phenomenal save to shut Red Stars out.
In the last five minutes of the game, all Dash had to do was run down the clock but they had other ideas.
Captain Rachel Daly passed the ball to Shea Groom who made a great run to entice keeper Alyssa Naeher out of the goal.
Groom out-manoeuvred her to have an open goal in front of her to double the club’s lead one minute into stoppage time.
As the final whistle blew the entire team rushed onto the field to celebrate.
They were then awarded their winner medals and the Challenge Cup itself.