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KC NWSL salvage a point in hard fought match with Houston

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Kansas City took the lead but Houston took the lead and forced KC to come back a player down.

Thad Bell

With veterans Lo’eau LaBonta and Chloe Logarzo on the injured list and Desiree Scott starting on the bench, head coach Huw Williams made a few changes from KC NWSL’s season opener at Louisville. Gaby Vincent started in the d-mid role and Michele Vasconcelos alongside Victoria Pickett in midfield.

The starters:

Amy Rodriguez etched her name into the record books again for KC NWSL in the 13th minute. After going scoreless in their first regular season match, A-Rod was the beneficiary of a quick transition attack. A long ball up to Mallory Weber who made a run to the side of the box before slicing a perfect cross just outside the six to Rodriguez. The Kansas City forward put it past Jane Campbell and staked Kansas City to their first lead in the season. Rodriguez also scored the first goal for KC NWSL in the Challenge Cup.

After Kansas City had the better first half, Houton came out strong in the second and broke though in the 60th when Allysha Chapman’s pass found Rachel Daly’s head. Daly flicked a header over an onrushing Nicole Barnhart to make it level at 1-1.

Former FC Kansas City players combined in the 66th to give the Houston Dash the lead when Kristie Mewis took a corner and Shae Groom slid to the back post unmarked. Groom headed the ball down and into the net to give Houston a 2-1 lead.

When Elizabeth Ball received a second yellow in the 69th minute and the subsequent red card, it made it even tougher on KC to attempt a comeback.

Coach Williams brought in three subs in the 78th but just when it seemed they were going to be unable to overcome the player advantage Mariana Larroquette drove a ball across the box to defender Taylor Leach who powered a header in the net.

The result is the second draw in the first two matches for Kansas City as they return home to face Chicago Red Stars in their home season opener on Wednesday.