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Struggles continue for Dash in 2-0 loss to Chicago Red Stars

Mal Pugh’s brace gave Chicago a 2-0 home win over Houston.

NWSL: Houston Dash at Chicago Red Stars Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Dash headed to Bridgeview, Illinois Saturday night looking to rebound from a 3-0 loss. The Chicago Red Stars were Saturday’s opponent and it was once again Mal Pugh who stole the show.

Things were even for the first half hour of the match until Houston-destroyer Mal Pugh popped up and did what she does to the Dash. The American international made a great run in to the right side of the box to recieve Vanessa DiBernardo’s pass and was able to slide her shot past Campbell at the far post. The teams went into half time with Chicago in front 1-0.

The Dash came out in the second half looking flat and were lucky not to concede early on. Jane Campbell made a sparkling save in the first minute of the half to keep Chicago from getting their second. Minutes later, Ella Stevens had the ball in the net but the goal was waved off after she slapped the ball in with her right arm after missing her initial attempt to score with her right foot.

Houston began showing life with Nichelle Prince scoring, however the flag was up for offside in the 52nd minute. Substitute Shea Groom had Houston’s best chance in the 75th minute as she broke in on goal but she was unable to get a good shot off and Red Stars goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher was able to clear the ball away.

Chicago finished things off in the 82nd minute and it was her again, Mal Pugh. Pugh got her second brace in two games against Houston this season to give the Red Stars all three points. If Mal Pugh can just leave Houston alone for a little while, that would be nice.

The Dash have another road match in their next NWSL Challenge Cup, Friday April 15, against Kansas City Current. After a very busy schedule early on, the Dash will get a bit of a breather, while some players (Rachel Daly, Maria Sanchez, Nichelle Prince, Sophie Schmidt, and Allysha Chapman) head off to international duty.