Rachel Daly’s 86th-minute goal didn’t provide enough of a spark for a Houston Dash comeback, as the club suffered a 3-2 loss against the Chicago Red Stars on Sunday night at BBVA Compass Stadium.
The Dash made a push for an equalizer in the final minutes, following Daly’s goal and Yūki Nagasato being sent off in the 89th minute for a dangerous tackle on the English forward. Kristie Mewis served the ball into the box and Daly placed a diving header past Red Stars goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher and into the upper corner.
The Red Stars scored three first-half goals to clinch their third straight playoff berth. Jen Hoy opened the scoring in the 12th minute. Red Stars defender Casey Short lifted a cross towards the six-yard box, Hoy’s initial header was stopped by a diving Jane Campbell, but the forward tucked home the rebound into the open goal.
Short added a goal of her own six minutes later after Campbell failed to hold onto a corner kick attempt. The Dash rookie keeper spilled the ball and Short launched a left-footed strike off the crossbar and into the back of the net.
The Dash and Red Stars traded penalty kick goals to close out the first half. In the 24th minute, Kristie Mewis was tackled inside the box, Amber Brooks stepped up to the spot and placed her strike down the middle and into the back of the net.
Christen Press sent Campbell the wrong way from the penalty spot in the 45+2’ minute following a controversial foul call inside the area.
With the loss, the Dash record falls to 7-13-2 and the club remains in eighth place in the league standings. Houston will return to action on Wednesday against the North Carolina Courage. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 pm CT.