The Kansas City Current returned home to host Angel City FC at Children’s Mercy Park in front of 10,395 fans, officially setting an attendance record for an NWSL game in KC. The Current hoped to extend the club-best 10-game unbeaten streak and they would even get it done.
How the Current Lined Up
10[K] toes down for the squad.— KC Current (@thekccurrent) August 19, 2022
Here are tonight's starters: pic.twitter.com/ki4N0nJfaC
Claire Lavogez earned her first start and Cece Kizer spent much of the game in the midfield with Lavogez and Hamilton up top to start the game.
The Current controlled much of the first half outside of a couple shaky moments with under hit balls back to AD Franch.
The first promising attack of the game for Kansas City came when Kizer found the ball in a dangerous area but couldn’t quite get enough on the ball. Lavogez had a chance of her own but the keeper saved it.
That was followed by two golden opportunities by Kristen Hamilton.
The first came when Kizer stole the ball in the box, quickly cut the ball back to Hamilton just outside the six-yard-box but she skied her shot over the bar. Shortly after that came a beautiful through ball from LaBonta to center back (!) Alex Loera who got to the endline and cut it back again to Hamilton who put it right to the keeper.
At this point, the media had to head down to the locker room in the 25th minute and didn’t return until the 50th minute. No goals were scored and it was still 0-0 upon our return. Our apologies for not knowing what happened in between.
The Current started off strong in the second half, keeping Angel City under pressure. A strong chance came on a ball played through to a charging Desiree Scott who got to the endline and knocked a hard cross into the box that was headed out for a near own goal by LA.
The waves of pressure kept coming Current that led to several more promising attacks including LaBonta turning sharply deep in the box only to have a last second slide tackle force the corner.
In a bit of a surprising move, the first subs of the match for KC were to bring off Kristen Hamilton (who nearly never leaves a game) and Lavogez. They were replaced by Elyse Bennett and Victoria Pickett respectively. That dropped Pickett into the midfield and pushed Kizer up top.
The first promising attack from Angel City (that wasn’t during that media blackout in the basement beneath Children’s Mercy Park) was an offside ball to Charley, but Franch went ahead and saved it anyways even though the flag was up. I’m not sure if that gave Angel City confidence but they kept up the pressure for the next few minutes, winning a corner and making KC repeatedly clear out balls.
After that, on a nothing cross into the box, Franch was caught between staying and going and a looping header from Cari Roccaro drifted into the back of the net. She was assisted by Ali Riley. Despite little sustained success for KC, Los Angeles found themselves ahead.
KC tried to answer back with Kizer dancing through the defense across the top of the 18-yard-box but she just couldn’t get enough on it and it fell to the keeper again. But it wouldn’t be long until LaBonta stole a ball in the ACFC box and then was tackled down from behind by Paige Nielsen to earn her team the penalty. She stayed on the ground for a moment and limped away.
Kizer acted like she was going to take the PK but Lo did step up and DRILLED IT HOME! She sent the keeper the wrong way and I’m not sure it was savable anyways as it was upper 80 at least (from the press box at least it looked that way).
Quite the celebration from Lo!
The PK led to a yellow to Paige Nielsen and minutes later Dani Weatherholt went in the book for dragging down a promising attack from Pickett. In the chaos Kate Del Fava was subbed off for Izzy Rodriguez and that was almost huge. Rodriguez hit on the counter in stoppage time and played a ball into Bennett who would score only to have the goal called back for offside.
On replay, though the angle isn’t good, Bennett did look to potentially be off.
The Current kept Angel City under pressure until the ref blew for final time as Loera was about to cross the ball into the box. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a game stopped while a team was so obviously still attacking.
The unbeaten streak is extended to 11, but KC feel unlucky to have not won.