Paulina_Header

Houston Dash forward Paulina Gramaglia kicked off the week filled with international play after making her Argentina U-20 Women’s National Team debut in on April 6 against Chile. Gramaglia earned the start in the 0-0 draw to open up the CONMEBOL South American Women’s Championship U-20 tournament and was subbed off in the 87th minute of the match. The Cordoba, Argentina native, who is currently on loan to the Dash from UAI Urquiza also had a shot on goal which was blocked by the Chilean goalkeeper in the opening half and was one of Argentina’s closest chances in the match.  

Across the Atlantic Ocean, Dash forward Rachel Daly was available off the bench against North Macedonia on April 8. Daly was subbed on in the 71st minute in England’s 10-0 win against North Macedonia to keep the top spot of their qualifying group.

That afternoon, Gramaglia earned her second start with the Argentinian U-20 WNT against Colombia. The forward played 87 minutes in the 0-0 draw. 

Canada and Nigeria faced off against each other in Vancouver later that evening as part of Canada’s Victory Tour after winning gold at Tokyo 2020. Defender Michelle Alozie came off the bench at the start of the second half for Nigeria. Midfielder Sophie Schmidt subbed in at the 78th minute to help close out Canada’s 2-0 win. 

On April 9, forward María Sánchez and Mexico showed out once again in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. Sánchez started against Caribbean-side Anguilla, putting in two assists for Mexico’s dominant 11-0 win. 

International play continued into the next day when Gramaglia earned a third straight start for the U-20 Argentina squad against Peru. She scored a goal in the 35th minute to put the icing on top of their 3-0 win. They currently top their group in the CONMEBOL South American Women’s Championship U-20 tournament. 

On April 11, Canada and Nigeria faced off again as forward Nichelle Prince and defender Allysha Chapman earned the start for Canada and Michelle Alozie earned the start for Nigeria. The teams faced off in a back-and-forth thriller with Canada coming back in the final minutes to force a 2-2 draw. 

The next day, England hosted Northern Ireland for their second FIFA Qualifying match of the international break. Daly came off the bench in the in the 65th minute to help close out a 5-0 win. England currently sit at the top of their qualifying group with 24 points, one point away from qualification. 

To close out our international break, Mexico wrapped up Group A play in a top of the table match up against Puerto Rico. María Sánchez entered the match in the 62nd minute and added her name to the scoresheet in the final minutes of extra time, scoring off a free kick at the top of the box. Mexico are now the winners of Group A and will compete in the CONCACAF W Championship this summer to qualify for the FIFA Women’s World Cup. 

Paulina and the U-20 Argentina squad will finish up group play in the CONMEBOL South American Women’s Championship U-20 tournament later this week. If Argentina wins the group, they will advance to the knockout rounds. 

The Houston Dash are back in action on Friday, April 15 on the road against the Kansas City Current. The Dash will return home Sunday, April 24 to take on Racing Louisville FC in the final group match of the Challenge Cup. Tickets are available here.