FC Kansas City (9-4-3 30 pts) won 1-0 over Portland Thorns FC (6-6-2 20 pts) in front of 2,421 fans on Verizon Wireless Field tonight. Lauren Holiday scored her sixth goal of the season tonight late in the first half. FC Kansas City stays comfortably in second place after gaining another 3 points at home.
Tonight’s match was preceded by rain for most of the day and stopped only an hour before kick off. The electricity between the two teams was still prevalent throughout the game.
Holiday started the game off in the 3rd minute when she fired a shot on Nadine Angerer from outside box but it went over the crossbar. Alex Morgan quickly retaliated by pressuring goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart as she safely picked up the ball in the 6th minute. Portland maintained control of the ball in the first part of the match.
The momentum shifted in favor of Kansas City towards the end of the first half. In the 29thminute, Amy Rodriguez had a beautiful run towards the goal but it went just wide of the goal. A few minutes later, Holiday was fouled just on the other side of midfield. Jen Buczkowski took the resulting free kick to find an open Holiday. The 2013 MVP tried to head the ball in to the net, but Angerer saved.
Holiday’s goal came in the 41st minute when Rodriguez made a run on a Portland defender. Her foot slid in to steal the ball and she took it to the side of the goal. Holiday came running in to get the cross from Rodriguez and netted it past Angerer. Portland kept defense in mind first for the rest of the half and the Blues led 1-0 at half.
The second half saw the only caution early on. Amber Brooks was shown a yellow card after a collision with Holiday in the 50th minute. Angerer was bold coming off her line throughout the match, which Kansas City noticed. Just shy of the hour marker, Rodriguez looked up to see Angerer off her line and chipped a long ball that bounced just wide of the net. Minutes later, Holiday put the ball in the net, but she was declared offsides and a no-goal.
Portland brought on a substitute, Jessica McDonald, who gave the Kansas City defense trouble the rest of the night. McDonald had close chances throughout on the night, one of which landed on top of the net off of a corner kick.
Sarah Hagen made her FC Kansas City debut in the 77th minute when she came on for Rodriguez. The Appleton, WI native has spent time with Bayern Munich in Germany and the US National Team before joining the Blues.
Portland had a dangerous play with just minutes left on the clock when Allie Long took a shot that looked like it was headed straight in. The ball bounced off the crossbar with a little help from Barnhart keeping the score 1-0 as the game ended.
FC Kansas City remains undefeated at home and continues an undefeated streak to 8 games. The Blues will be on the road for the next three games, the first being in New Jersey against Sky Blue FC.