FC Kansas City found itself in an important and high-profile match against the Houston Dash for the second time in nine days when the two teams met on Wednesday night.
The first of the two meetings signified the decorated return of seven 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup champions, but this one marked the return to a race for the National Women’s Soccer League title that the Blues are attempting to defend.
The Dash was victorious in this round, winning 3-2 at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston and evening the season series at 1-1-1. Houston played to a 1-1 draw on July 20 at Swope Soccer Village, and FC Kansas City won 2-0 on May 2. The Blues sustained their first loss in the all-time series, dropping to 3-1-2.
“This time around, we didn’t play anywhere near where we did the last time against them,” FC Kansas City coach Vlatko Andonovski said. “The biggest problem or difference this game was that they wanted it more, and I think they deserved it.”
Lauren Holiday put the Blues ahead in the third minute after threading the defense with fellow U.S. Women’s National Team player Amy Rodriguez. Holiday received the ball on the left side of the box and sent a shot bouncing past Houston goalkeeper Erin McLeod.
Ellie Brush tied it in the 12th minute on an assist from Kealia Ohai, and Jessica McDonald pushed the Dash ahead with a goal in the 17th minute.
Trailing 2-1 late in the second half, Sarah Hagen scored off a rebound when Liz Bogus’ shot ricocheted off the post. However, the tie did not last long.
FIFA Women’s World Cup Golden Ball recipient Carli Lloyd scored her second goal in two games with a rocket that she sent from the right side of the box into the left side of the net. She has scored in seven straight games between NWSL and National Team action.
“We battled all the way through and got the tying goal, but then Carli did what she does best, scoring a goal from way in the upper 90 and there was nothing we could do,” Andonovski said.
It was the first time this season the Dash scored three goals in the game and just the second time that the Blues had allowed three.
The loss ended a three-match undefeated streak for the Blues, who dropped to 5-6-3. Houston jumped Kansas City to take fourth place with a 5-4-5 record.
The Blues will play a road game against the Chicago Red Stars at 7 p.m. Saturday before returning home for four consecutive matches at Swope Soccer Village.