The OL Reign broke through with a potentially tournament-changing goal on Wednesday in the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup. Bethany Balcer scored in second-half stoppage time to give OL Reign a 1-0 win over the Utah Royals. It was the Reign's first goal of the Challenge Cup, and it took more than 270 minutes to get. It was better late than never for the Reign (1-1-1), who vaulted up to a tie for second place in the standings with the victory.
OL Reign had 15 shots and five on goal, but they could not find the back of the net until Balcer headed home a goal in the 91st minute. The Reign, like they had in their first two games, won the possession battle and kept the ball for 55.6 percent of play. The Royals (1-1-1) had 11 shots of their own, including five on goal, but were held scoreless for the first time at the Challenge Cup.
NWSL action continues Wednesday night as the Houston Dash take on Sky Blue FC. All Challenge Cup games can be streamed on CBS All Access.
OL Reign 1, Utah Royals 0 (2H)
⚽Bethany Balcer (90+1')
Utah Royals FC: The tournament hosts continued their group play lined up in head coach Craig Harrington's 3-5-2, and were getting chances in the final third despite not holding the majority of possession. Going up against Reign goalkeeper Michele Betos with her first start of the tournament, Utah forward Amy Rodriguez had a number of breakaway chances, but her efforts weren't enough to get anything past Betos.
OL Reign: New head coach Farid Benstiti has been committed to having his players slowly develop into their new style of play. During this third game of group play, the team still found itself a bit disjointed in passing and possession despite trying to play to those strengths. The difference finally came for the team after an hour of play, when Balcer and Yuka Nicole Momiki came on as substitutes. They were able to connect for the game-winner in stoppage time.