TheHouston Dash will take on Racing Louisville FC in the final group match of the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup at PNC Stadium on Sunday. Kickoff is slated for 5:00 p.m. CT, fans interested in attending can click here to purchase tickets.
Sunday’s match will be the final tune up before the NWSL regular season kicks off on May 1 against San Diego Wave FC. The Dash are looking to close out the Challenge Cup with a win and sweep Racing Louisville FC in the tournament.
The last game between the two teams was a thriller in which Houston came from behind to earn their first win of 2022. Louisville took a two-goal lead into the half. Houston cut into the lead in the 56th minute after forward Maria Sanchez found space from the penalty area and found the back of the net following a set piece play. Two minutes later after taking a Louisville defender one-on-one, Sanchez played the ball into the box for midfielder Marisa Viggiano who scored the equalizer. The Dash secured the victory over Racing after Houston was awarded a penalty kick in 65th minute thtat was converted by forward Rachel Daly.
Racing Louisville is coming off a 1-1 draw with the Chicago Red Stars on April 16. Louisville scored the equalizer late in the match after Chicago took the lead in the seventh minute. Racing will open its regular season on the road against the Red Stars on April 29.
The Dash open the 2022 NWSL regular season, powered by Shell Energy, on May 1 against expansion side San Diego Wave FC. Fans interested in attending the match can purchase tickets here. The first 2,500 fans in attendance will get a free Dash bandana and all fans are encouraged to stick around after the final whistle to enjoy postgame fireworks, both courtesy of PNC Bank. Additionally, fans over the age of 21 will have the first round of beer for free courtesy of the Dash.
Here are three key points ahead of Sunday's match:
- FINAL GAME OF CHALLENGE CUP: Houston looks to close out the Challenge Cup run on a high note following a 1-4-0 record in group play. A win will help the Dash as they prepare for the regular season home opener against San Diego Wave FC. Houston is 3-1-0 all-time against the second-year club from Kentucky. Last season, Houston closed out the 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup with a 1-1 draw against Portland. In 2020 the final match of group play resulted in a 1-0 loss to Washington, however the loss did not impact the team as they would go on to claim the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup title.
- NWSL REGULAR SEASON ON THE HORIZON: The Dash open the 2022 NWSL regular season, powered by Shell Energy, at home against San Diego Wave FC on May 1. The Wave feature a familiar face in defender Abby Dahlkemper, who joined the Wave this past offseason. The Wave also have USWNT star Alex Morgan. So far, the Wave are third place in the west region of the NWSL Challenge Cup and close out the Challenge Cup against OL reign on April 23 at home before making the first ever trip to Houston.
- RACING LOUISVILLE FC’S CHALLENGE CUP IN REVIEW: The Kentucky club sits in third place in the central division group with a 1-1-3 record. Racing’s only loss of the Challenge Cup has come at the hands of the Dash. On March 25 the Dash scored three unanswered goals in the second half in Houston’s first win of the season. Racing opened the Challenge Cup with a 1-1 draw against Kansas City on March 18. On March 30, Louisville earned another point after forcing a draw with Chicago. Racing got its first win of the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup on the road in Kansas City after a big performance from the front line, who scored three goals.