Kgatlana, who signed for the American top-flight club in February, started the game on the bench, as fellow South Africans Janine van Wyk and Linda Motlhalo were included in the starting line-up by former Banyana coach Vera Pauw.
Reign, who sit second on the log, took the early lead, with hosts Dash drawing level in the 68th minute. With the scores level at 1-1, Kgatlana was brought on for her sixth appearance of the campaign as her Houston side looked to avoid a fourth winless match in succession.
And with the clock running out in the second minute of stoppage time, Dash attacked on the counter with Kgatlana tearing down the left wing before laying off a pass to teammate Veronic Latsko, who struck home the winner to hand the home side a vital three points.
The win sees Dash remain seventh out of nine teams on the UWSL standings with 10 points after 10 games, with Van Wyk maintaining her ever-present run in the side and Motlhalo earning her sixth start of the season.
Elsewhere in the men’s game but still in America, Lebogang Moloto was an unused substitute on the bench as second division side Nashville beat Mississippi 3-1 to advance to the fourth round of the US Open Cup while in Romania, South Africa’s May Mahlangu came on for the last 10 minutes as Dinamo Bucuresti beat Voluntari 2-0 to remain 17 points ahead at the top of their relegation mini league table with two games left to play.
Read Thembi Kgatlana’s full story of her journey so far, how she has settled in at Houston Dash and the challenges she’s faced to get to where she is today, all in the latest edition of KICK OFF Magazine (issue 494) on sale this Friday!