The Houston Dash extended their unbeaten streak to five games with a 2-1 victory over NJ/NY Gotham FC at PNC Stadium this evening. With the victory, the Dash are tied atop the league table with the Portland Thorns on 28 points.
Dash forward Ebony Salmon scored her seventh goal of the regular season in the 74th minute to give Houston the lead. Rookie Ryan Gareis won the ball from a Gotham defender outside the box and found forward Maria Sanchez to continue the push forward. The forward’s cross evaded a Gotham defender and found Salmon in the middle of the box. Salmon’s one-touch finish bounced under the crossbar into the back of the net for the first of three goals in a seven-minute span.
Houston doubled their lead three minutes later with a strike from the edge of the box from midfielder Marisa Viggiano. Midfielder Sophie Schmidt switched play and found the midfielder in space outside the box. Viggiano took an aggressive first touch and her low, buzzing effort beat the Gotham goalkeeper at the far post.
Gotham prevented the clean sheet in the 80th minute off a free kick from midfielder Kristie Mewis. The former Dash midfielder whipped in a cross that found McCall Zerboni at the far post for the third goal of the half.
Dash goalkeeper Jane Campbell was called into action in the 16th minute when she denied Taylor Smith. Campbell finished the night with two saves against Gotham. The Dash backline was called into action again 10 minutes later when defender Elizabeth Eddy cleared an effort from Ifeoma Onumonu inside the six-yard box to keep the match scoreless.
Gotham was forced to play with 10 players for the final 30 minutes after forward Midge Purce was ejected from the match in the 58th minute. Referee Alex Billeter gave Purce her second yellow card of the night for delay of game following a free kick awarded to the Dash.
Houston nearly capitalized moments later when Schmidt’s effort tested the backline, but the Gotham defense was able to clear out the ball to eliminate the threat.
The Dash are back on the road in a rematch of the season opener against San Diego Wave FC on Saturday, Aug. 20. Kickoff is set for 9:00 p.m. CT and the match will stream live on Paramount+