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Utah Royals fall 2-1 in Houston

The Royals got a goal back but struggled to find any attacking cohesion & fell 2-1

Lucas Muller | RSL Soapbox

Utah Royals started the game off well. They were certainly the dominate attacking force in the first 25 minutes, having had three shots early in the game and just over 51% of the possession.

The game changed in the 27th minute when Sofia Huerta scores the first goal of the game through an assist by Kristie Mewis. It was a bit of a scramble and Utah should’ve have done better to clear the ball and the Dash took advantage.

From there, the Dash gained confidence and started to be bolder in their attack. The first half ended with Houston outshooting Utah 6 to 5, with both teams putting 2 shots on goal. Utah was able to maintain the lion’s share of possession at 53.4%.

Once the second half started, the Royals did a better job of controlling the game but still struggled to connect the possession they had with their attack.

In the 61st minute, Katie Stengel was substituted out for Gunny Jonsdottir. This has been a fairly regular substitution pattern since Gunny feel out of the starting XI.

The Dash’s 2nd goal game in the 62nd minute, once again through Sofia Huerta. From the screenshot below (taken from Charles Onley’s Twitter account) seems to show that Huerta was offside when Daly played the ball to her. It’s possible that Corise kept her onside, but Huerta seems to be deeper than anyone on the backline. It’s conceding that the linesmen is much closer to goal the endline than any of the players, so their perspective may have been skewed.

Utah Royals found their only goal in the 74th minute through Gunny Jonsdottir. Gabby Vincent was subbed on for Katie Bowen in the 77th minute. This changed allowed the Royals to play with three center backs, and Weber to push further up the field to assist the attack.

Both teams had a few more chances but the scoreline ended 2-1. The Royals are still in 4th place in the NWSL standings, but Reign FC could overtake them in the standings should they beat Washington Spirit in Maryland on Saturday. It will be a battle to the end of the season to see who gets that last playoff spot.