Utah Royals FC Secure First Victory In Challenge Cup
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah Royals FC have won their first game of the Challenge Cup following a 1-0 victory over Sky Blue FC this morning. Utah Royals captain Amy Rodriguez scored the only goal of the game in the 41st minute to give the hosts the advantage shortly before half time.
The Royals now sit in second place in the Challenge Cup standings on four points.
The Royals led Sky Blue in every meaningful statistic and were deserving of the three points. They led the shot tally 6 to 3 and the possession 57 percent to 43 percent.
Rodriguez scored after Spanish midfielder Verónica Boquete honored the Rodriguez run into the box. Boquete put the perfect amount of weight on the pass to allow Rodriguez to slot the ball on her non-preferred left foot past the outstretched arms of the Sky Blue goalkeeper and into the bottom right corner of the net.
For the second game in a row, Royals rookie Tziarra King came off the bench midway through the second half and impressed. King showcased her speed while playing as the striker. Her teammates frequently honor and look for King to make a run in and behind the backline of opposing teams with hope that she can find herself one on one with the goalkeeper.
The win was also manager Craig Harrington’s first victory of his Royals career. During the first match in the Challenge Cup the Royals came back from behind to draw the Houston Dash 3-3.
The Royals have two games remaining in the qualifying rounds of the Challenge Cup. They will host OL Reign on Wednesday, July 8th at 10:30 a.m. before playing their final group stage match against Chicago Red Stars on Sunday, July 12th at 8 p.m.
You can follow the action of every game through CBS All-Access.
Tom Hackett is a Utah and Real Salt Lake Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the It’s Utah’s World Podcast (Utah Football themed) and The Lion’s Den Podcast (Real Salt Lake themed). Follow him on Twitter: @TomCantHackett.
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