Second place FC Kansas City (8-4-3 27 pts) shut out Chicago Red Stars 1-0 in front of 1,493 fans tonight on Verizon Wireless Field. The Blues’ stay in second and create space between the third place Red Stars. Jen Buczkowski scored the lone goal of the night with Merritt Mathias is credited with the assist.
The first half started out with FC Kansas City attacking and a solid Chicago defense there to stop it. Michelle Wenino and Julie Johnston created a barrier for the Red Stars that stopped countless plays from Kansas City.
Amy Rodriguez and Lauren Holiday tried making a play 33 minutes in. The deadly duo was stopped by the Red Stars’ backline. In the 35th minute, Chicago’s Christen Press carried the ball in to the box but Nikki Phillips sent it away from the box. The Blues had 7 shots total in the first 45 minutes, but nothing converted.
After a quick break, the teams were back out in the heat for another half. Kansas City came out with energy and fired shots at Chicago’s goalkeeper, Karina LeBlanc. Kassey Kallman was frequently seen running up the sides and shooting for the Blues.
The stalemate was finally broken in the 76th minute when Mathias sent a threating cross in front of the goal to find an open Buczkowski. LeBlanc was on Mathias’ side to block her leaving Buczkowski in a perfect spot to hit the back post. On the restart, Chicago had a quick attack but it went out.
Chicago applied the pressure the remaining minutes and tried to equalize. Both teams used all three subs hoping to increase the score. The heat took a toll on each side making the fresh substitutes essential. Even with the added pressure and subsitutes, Chicago did not find an equalizer.
The win extends FC Kansas City’s undefeated streak to seven games and the last five are wins. The Blues host Alex Morgan and the Portland Thorns FC on Verizon Wireless Field next Saturday, June 28th. For tickets call 855.4KC.GOAL