Check out our gameday photos for the Houston Dash VS NC Courage from July 17, 2021
The Saturday evening home match against Houston on July 17, 2021 match was the first of the season against the Texas-based Houston Dash, a match that due to Olympic duties, was missing key players on both sides, including Houston’s Rachel Daly and Kristie Mewis. The Courage were missing Debinha, Sam Mewis, Lynn Williams, and Courage captain, Abby Erceg.
Houston Dash’s Shea Groom scored first, though Courage forward, Kristen Hamilton scored an equalizer in the 16th minute — her first of the 2021 regular season.
Fans and head coach, Paul Riley alike were not satisfied with the officiating and the overall handling of fouls and cards. In the press conference immediately following the game, Riley was quick to acknowledge the poor refereeing.
“I mean the referee couldn’t run a two-year-old’s birthday party,” Riley said.
“That’s how bad she was tonight — inconsistent — yellow cards for average fouls, no yellow cards for professional fouls. All over the map.”
In addition to the foul calls, the assistant referees called off two arguably onside goals by Jess McDonald and Kristen Hamilton. McDonald’s strike came three minutes in, while Hamilton’s goal was called off in the 35th minute.
“The game should have been over at halftime in all fairness,” Riley said.
“Both goals were on-sides. The refereeing tonight was disappointing — the linesman to miss two goals. It was poor.”
Houston added a second goal in the 62nd minute, off a Gabby Seiler free kick right outside the box, converting the attempt to give Houston a 2-1 lead.
In the end, the 2-1 score stuck, and the Courage dropped their second match in a row, and dropped from first place to 6th place with the loss, showing the parity thus far in the 2021 NWSL season.
The Courage and Dash will not meet again until Saturday, October 9, 2021, on Houston’s home turf. The Courage hit the road for this Friday night’s matchup against Kansas City — the first time the two teams meet. The game starts at 8:00 pm ET.
The North Carolina Courage will be at home again on Saturday, July 31, 2021, for the third 2021 regular season against the Orlando Pride. That match is scheduled for a 7:00 pm ET start.
All photos by Gregory Ng @FollowGregSports
Check out all of our North Carolina Courage photo galleries.