Houston Dash knocked from the playoffs in a 2-1 stunner
The Houston Dash lost their first ever playoff game in stunning fashion to the Kansas City Current. The game winner by Kate Del Fava came in the tenth minute of stoppage time propel ling the Missouri side to next week's semi-final away match against the OL Reign.
The Houston Dash were on the short end of the stick following a questionable penalty kick call by referee Elijio Arreguin in the opening five minutes of play. Kansas City Current midfielder Kristen Hamilton was pulled down from behind at the edge of the box. A moment's hesitation and complaints all around from Current players resulted in a pointing to the spot. Loeau Labonta converts and Kansas City awarded more NWSL penalty kicks in 2022 had another. LabBonta's goal in NWSL playoff history.
Playing in front of the largest crowd in franchise history (21,284), Houston would find the equalizer in the 21st minute. Kansas City keeper AD Franch punched away a corner off the foot of Maria Sanchez and it came right to the foot of Dash midfielder Sophie Schmidt. The Canadian international wasted little time burying Houston's first ever playoff goal evening the match at one apiece.
In the second half, Houston who outshot Kansas City 20-6 continued to get the better chances through the match. In the 55th minute, Sanchez banged one off the post. Moments later, a Katie Naughton header off a Sanchez corner sailed just wide. A minute later Ebony Salmon tested Franch who parried it away for another Dash corner. The Dash had 11 corners in the match compared to just four for Kansas City.
Dash keeper Jane Campbell came up big with back to back saves in the 66th minute to keep the game level.
Houston forward Michelle Alozie broke free in second half stoppage but could not put her break away shot as Franch stoned her effort at the near post.
Kansas City found the game winner seconds before the final whistle as a service into the box fell to the foot of Del Fava who tapped it home.
The game was marred by 33 fouls combined fouls and seven bookings featuring five against the Houston Dash.
"Yeah I think it says a lot of what these players have achieved, you know football is only one way now. If we will do the right things next year, we want to create and ignite this passion into our fans like today having more than 20,000, like almost double the record that we had before and how the people were behind, pushing the team, comments at the end, everyone clapping the players. Everyone is proud of the performance, obviously you always want to win but there's more than that in football and I'm just sad that we couldn't give them the win but extremely proud of what the players have done to get people in and hopefully to come back on regular basis. Next season, these players deserve it, this club deserves it, and the city of Houston deserves a team like the Dash." Interim head coach Juan Carlos Amoros