After bending, but not breaking, Chicago's defense finally broke in the 76th minute as FC Kansas City rode Jen Buczkowski's first goal of the year to a 1-0 victory.
This win put further separation between the second place FC Kansas City and the third place Chicago Red Stars.
"It's tremendous. First, of course, it shows in the standings which are great for us but for our mentality, from a psychological standpoint, it's huge for us," Head Coach Vlatko Andonovski said. "Confidence helps our players play better soccer."
The first half was tight and tense with FC Kansas City controlling most of the possession. They would send play after attempted play through the middle but the centerback duo of Michelle Wenino and Julie Johnston created a nice wall for Chicago. Although FC Kansas City was able to get seven shots off, none of them were particularly threatening. The teams went into the break scoreless.
The heat, which is very unusual for a Kansas City summer, forced the two teams to use all three subs. Lauren Holiday came off for Katrina Gorry in the 64th minute after the midfielder started to slow down. Holiday had played 90 minutes in both National Team friendlies this past week, including Wednesday's match. Gorry would come in and do well, bringing a speed aspect to the attack and creating chances.
The Blues finally broke through in the 76th minute after the Red Stars defense was in "bend not break" mode. Mathias sent in a low pass across the face of goal where Buczkowski was waiting to tap it in for the Kansas City goal. It was Buzkowski's first goal of the year and Mathias' first assist of the year.
FC Kansas City continued to press forward and gained themselves a couple more opportunities. In the 84th minute, a corner kick was passed to an oncoming Gorry from the center of the field. Her shot from the top of the box was low and on goal but right at LeBlanc.
With one minute of stoppage time, Chicago was able to get a late corner but was not able to put anything in. After a Red Star was knocked on the ground and was slow getting up, the ref decided to end the match there with FC Kansas City bringing home a win 1-0.
The Blues claimed their fifth straight victory with the 1-0 win and seventh straight result. This put some distance between second place FC Kansas City and the third place Red Stars. Despite having played one more game than Chicago, FC Kansas City now has a seven point separation between second and third place. They still sit five points behind first place Seattle, who also has two games in hand against the Blues.
"Going into this game we had this momentum that we wanted to keep building on going into Portland next week," Buczkowski said. "We had that rough patch of games and now we need to get as many points as we can in the final stretch."
FC Kansas City is back in action next Saturday against the Portland Thorns, making it three matches between Kansas City soccer clubs and Portland soccer clubs next week.