Sam Kerr lifts Sky Blue FC to 3-1 victory against the Houston Dash
Sky Blue were victorious over the Houston Dash

A Sky Blue FC side without USWNT star Kelley O'Hara found a new hero in Sam Kerr, who troubled the Houston Dash backline all night and rounded her performance off with a goal in the 3-1 victory.

Kerr the key figure for Sky Blue

After a cagey opening ten minutes, it was Sky Blue who had the best chances of the first half. Australian forward Sam Kerr was in the middle of everything, and the first good chance came as a result of her instinctive no-look pass out wide to Taylor Lytle, who said in a curling cross towards the back post, only for Sarah Killion to thump her volley against the crossbar. Kerr picked up a yellow card on the play, as she followed through on Janine Van Wyk as they both battled for the rebound.

Just minutes later Raquel Rodriguez slipped in Kerr in the box, but her shot was blocked amongst a melee of players. Kerr wanted a handball call, but nothing was given.

Houston had one good chance on the half hour mark, but Kealia Ohai blasted her shot over the crossbar.

And she was made to pay for her mistake as Sky Blue took the lead in the next minute. A deep free kick served in was allowed to bounce in Houston's box, and Prince's challenge to win the ball was deemed by the referee as a dangerous play, as her boot was raised and struck Kerr in the face. Already the league's top scorer, Killion stepped up to put a perfect shot in the bottom right corner.

Sarah Killion is the league's top scorer. Source: Sky Blue FC
Sarah Killion is the league's top scorer. | Source: Sky Blue FC

Kerr's dominance continued in the second half, as she set up Sky Blue's second. As she dribbled goalwards she drew in the Dash defenders, before threading the ball through to Leah Galton who was streaking through the middle. Galton maintained her composure to round Lydia Williams and fire high into the roof of the empty net.

And Kerr secured the victory in the final minutes, as she danced past the tired Houston defence on the right side, and finished low into the far corner of the net for her first of the season.

No killer edge from Houston

There was a glimmer of hope for Houston when Poliana slotted home a nice pull back from Ohai, but after the penalty call a victory always seemed unlikely. 

Even when they did create chances, the Sky Blue defence were up to all the challenges.

Morgan Brian clocked 60 minutes tonight on her return from injury. Source: NWSL
Morgan Brian clocked 60 minutes tonight on her return from injury. | Source: NWSL

Kailen Sheridan continued her solid form in goal, coming out to a lot of crosses, and most impressively palming away an Andressa shot that was hit well from distance. On the one time she was beaten - from the resulting corner - fellow rookie Mandy Freeman was in the right place at the right time to block Bruna's goalbound header.

Chance for revenge next week

Houston will get the opportunity to make up for their mistakes sooner rather than later, as they travel to New Jersey in the rematch next Saturday, for the live game on Lifetime at 4:00pm ET.