Sunday, August 18, 2013

Late Goal Costs FCKC Home Field Advantage

FC Kansas City had a great opportunity to wrap up home field advantage throughout the NWSL playoffs today as they faced the Chicago Red Stars at Verizon Wireless Field. Unfortunately a late goal by Jen Hoy though spoiled that opportunity and FCKC had to settle for the second seed.

Needing a win or a draw to clinch home field advantage, the Blues attacked from the start. FCKC grabbed the lead in the 20th through Courtney Jones whose shot was not handled by Chicago goalkeeper, Erin McLeod. KC couldn't find another goal in the first half, and as the game closed in on half time, Chicago equalized Inka Grings and Hoy attacked in a 2v4 situation. Hoy curled the shot into the corner to tie the game at 1-1. KC thought they'd responded almost immediately as Desiree Scott received a ball out wide and crossed to the back post where Melissa Henderson tapped the ball home, but Henderson was ruled offside.

In the second, FCKC controlled play and had the better chances but couldn't finish an opportunity. Lauren Holiday fired a free kick that McLeod had to tip over the bar, and then stopped Henderson in a 1v1 situation. KC looked like they'd end up getting the draw, but in stoppage time Chicago attacked and a cross by Julianne Sitch was settled by Hoy and finished at the near post giving Chicago the lead.

The loss dropped Kansas City into second place in the league on goal difference, giving Western New York the regular season title. Kansas City will still host a playoff game in the first round but do not have home field advantage. They'll now get to take on the Portland Thorns at Verizon Wireless Field next weekend.

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