The Kansas City Current (10-5-6, 36 points) traveled to Louisville for the final match of the NWSL regular season. The Current entered the match with the possibility of finishing the season anywhere from first to fifth. Racing Louisville (4-9-8, 20 points) were out of playoff contention entering the match.
The Current would finish no lower than third with a win or a draw in Saturday night’s match-up and would get to host their first ever home playoff match. The chance to finish first or second in the league would require results of the Portland Thorns/Gotham FC and OL Reign/Orlando Pride matches to fall Kansas City’s way.
The Current started the game with a starting lineup that was unchanged from their last match.
The Current got close to an opening goal in the 7th minute off a corner kick that gets batted around and finds its way to Claire Lavogez who puts it on goal, but the Louisville keeper, Katie Lund, made a great save to push the ball wide.
Only a couple of minutes later Lavogez and Louisville’s Jaelin Howell collide just outside of the box for a Kansas City free kick. Hailie Mace took the free kick and sent it just over the top of the goal.
Louisville had their own great opportunity shortly after when the Current failed to clear the ball in the box and Louisville’s Lauren Milliet had a great shot to score, but sent the ball over the goal.
The next big opportunity for Louisville came in the the 36th minute when AD Franch came up huge with a save. The ball bounced around and finally went out for a Louisville corner. The corner was taken and a header came close to a goal, but Franch had a second big stop.
The halftime whistle came with a 0-0 scoreline.
By halftime the Portland Thorns had ended their match with a draw against Gotham FC so the Current would come out of halftime with the chance to finish anywhere between 2nd and 5th in the league.
Jessica McDonald came close to giving Louisville the lead quickly after halftime when she intercepted a bad ball from Franch, but again the ball just misses finding the inside of the far post.
Lund kept the match level with another good save when Cece Kizer takes a great shot in the 58th minute, but the keeper make the save.
LaBonta was fouled just outside the box in the 61st minute, but Alex Loera’s free kick sailed over the crossbar.
In what would prove to be a pivotal point in the match. Desiree Scott challenged a Louisville player and picked up her second yellow card of the match and therefore a red card in the 78th minute. The Kansas Current had to play their final 12 minutes plus stoppage time of their regular season down a player. Scott will be suspended for the Current’s next match, which is a playoff game.
Cece Kizer made a run and earned yet another free kick just outside the top of the box for the Current in the 86th minute. Mace takes it and it is deflected off the head of a Louisville player in the wall.
Jessica McDonald finally breaks the tie in stoppage time. She makes a great run after the Current fail to clear the ball out of the box to give Racing Louisville the 0-1 lead and the win.
That goal puts Kansas City in a disappointing place for the postseason. The loss drops Kansas City all the way down to 5th place in the standings. The Current will have to go on the road for their first playoff match.