After a tough 4-0 loss in Chicago on Wednesday, the one that broke the 13-match unbeaten streak, the Kansas City Current returned to Children’s Mercy Park to face the Portland Thorns FC. The Current were looking for a pivotal win to regain the number one spot in the NWSL standings and become the first team to claim a spot in the NWSL playoffs, but the game against the Portland Thorns would be a tough challenge and made it difficult for the Current to score, despite its many chances.
After a tough physical game, the Thorns, who were also looking to climb to the number spot with a win, scored late in the second half and seemed like the team to win the game. Goalkeeper AD Franch recored 8 saves for the game, but Portland, determined to score before the match was over, were able to break through Franch’s stops with a goal in the 87’ minute.
It seemed as if Kansas City would drop their second consecutive loss, dropping them down to fourth in the standings, but a set piece after a foul by Portland’s Becky Sauerbrunn in stoppage time led to the equalizer. After the set piece pass from Kristen Edmonds to Hailie Mace, Mace’s shot deflected off the Portland wall and headed into the goal.
The 1-1 draw kept Kansas City in contention to finish at the top of the standings with one game left in the season. As of the final whistle, the Current sit at number 3, tied with 33 points, separated by Houston Dash at number two with 33 points and San Diego Wave at first place with 34 points.
“Incredibly proud of the group, they just don’t know when they’re done,” said head coach Matt Potter. “The fight and the mentality of the group as a whole, how much they care about each other, how much they care about the people in the stands, they just want to continually drive themselves forward. And yeah, I’m incredibly proud.”
Up next, the Current host the Washington Spirit at Children’s Mercy Park at 4 pm CT. It will be the last home game of the regular season. Kansas City can secure a place in the 2022 NWSL Playoffs with a win over on Sunday.
Match: Kansas City Current vs. Portland Thorns
Date: September 18, 2022
Venue: Children’s Mercy Park, Kansas City, Kansas
Kickoff: 4:07 p.m. CT
Weather: 91 degrees, sunny
73’ Kansas City – Bennett (yellow)
90+3’ Portland – Sauerbrunn (yellow)
87’ Portland – Rodriguez
90+4’ Kansas City – Mace (Edmonds)
Kansas City: Franch, Loera (90’ Leach), Edmonds, Merrick, Scott, Lavogez (90’ Winebrenner), LaBonta (64’ Bennett), Kizer (64’ Rodriguez), Hamilton (80’ Curran), Mace, Del Fava
Substitutes Not Used: Logarzo, McCain, Miller, Schneider
Portland: Bixby, Klingenberg, Sauerbrunn, Hubly, Kuikka, Sugita, Coffey, Weaver (90’ Everett), Sinclair (69’ Rodriguez), Ryan (69’ Beckie), S. Smith
Substitutes Not Used: Dunn, McGrady, Moultrie, Nally, Porter, A. Smith