NWSL Challenge Cup: Boquete and rookie King team up to earn host Royals a 3-3 tie

The Utah Royals, hosts of the NWSL Challenge Cup, scored two goals in the last eight minutes to earn a 3-3 draw with the Houston Dash in their first match of the tournament.

Canadian Diana Matheson returned from a toe injury that caused her to missed the 2019 NWSL season and opened the scoring, and Spaniard Vero Boquete and rookie Tziarra King (N.C. State) scored late goals to earn the draw.

Boquete's goal came on a free kick she bent around the wall and she then found King for the equalizer on a header at the back post.

English forward Rachel Daly scored on either side of halftime to give Houston the lead, and midfielder Shea Groom made it 3-1 in the 67th minute with a goal in her Dash debut.

June 30 in Herriman, Utah
Utah 3 Houston 3. Goal: Matheson (Rodriguez,  LaBonta) 35, Boquete 82, King 89; Daly (Latsko) 45+1, Daly (Mewis) 47, Groom (Stengel) 67.
Utah -- Smith; Ball, Corsie, Bowen (Del Fava 63); Jonsdottir (Maemone 88), LaBonta, Matheson (Nolf 88), Boquete; Rodriguez, Ratcliffe (King 70), Strom-Okimoto (Lytle 63).
Houston -- Campbell; Chapman, Oyster, Naughton, Simon (Prisock 74); Hanson, Mewis, Groom (Kizer 79); Latsko (Nairn 68), Daly (Schmidt 74), Stengel (Fields 79).

In Frenchman Farid Benstiti's first match as a NWSL head coach, OL Reign played to a 0-0 tie with Sky Blue FC.

For OL Reign, the game marked the NWSL debut of highly regarded defender Alana Cook and the returns of Taylor Smith, who had not played since 2018 recovering from a torn AC, and Jasmyne Spencer, who played only 26 minutes in the 2019 opener before suffering a season-ending ACL injury.

Spencer had OL Reign's best chance, stopped by Sky Blue keeper Kailen Sheridan. In the 75th minute, Sky Blue’s best chance fell to Elizabeth Eddy, but she was denied by OL Reign keeper Casey Murphy.

June 30 in Herriman, Utah
OL Reign 0 Sky Blue FC 0.
OL Reign -- Murphy, McNabb, Barnes, Cook, Cox (White 76), Long, Quinn, Cruz (Momiki 75), Jenkins, Taylor (Spencer 75), Balcer (Smith 57).
Sky Blue FC -- Sheridan, Purce (Skroski 78), Flores, Lewandowski, Johnson, Richardson (Cudjoe 60), Monaghan (Eddy 46), Zerboni, Onumonu (Viens 77), Woldmoe, Kawasumi.

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