Thursday, July 31, 2014

FC Kansas City Fall in Washington

From FC Kansas City.

FC Kansas City (11-6-4 37pts) lost 2-1 to the Washington Spirit (9-8-4 31pts) tonight in front of 2,744 fans at Maryland SoccerPlex. The Blues got on the board first when Becky Sauerbrunn scored in the 18th minute but two late goals from Kerstin Garefrekes and Christine Narin gave Kansas City a road loss.

The first half started out well for the Blues, maintaining possession of the ball and finding close chances on goal. The Spirit only had a few chances throughout the opening minutes, but those few were solid chances.

A Washington throw in found its way to Kansas City’s backline where Sauerbrunn took control of the ball. The 2013 NWSL Defender of the Year made one of her rare, yet stunning, runs toward the attacking third. She ran in to some pressure and passed the ball to Sarah Hagen while still running. Hagen fed the ball right back to the captain who took a chip shot over Ashlyn Harris for the first goal of the night. This was also Sauerbrunn’s first goal in her NWSL career.

The momentum slightly shifted as the Spirit became more aggressive and found more chances on goal. A close one came in the 27th minute when Garefrekes fired off a shot from less than 18 yards out. The ball hit the post and went out to safety.

From that shot on, FC Kansas City seemed to collect possession again and control the run of play. Harris performed well as the Blues’ offense challenged her throughout the first 45 minutes including three corner kicks in a row from Lauren Holiday. None of the chances from either side connected with the back of the net and the teams took a break with the Blues up 1-0.

Washington came back from the locker rooms hungry for an equalizer. Garefrekes was the answer to that in the 49th minute. A corner from Narrin was sent in to the box which found Garefrekes’ head and the Blues were there for stop that. The ball bounced towards the byline and the play seemed to end until Narin saved it. Lisa De Vanna got a hold of it and sent it back to Garefrekes who sent it past Nicole Barnhart to even the score 1-1.

With the score tied up, the battle for the upper hand saw an increased intensity. Both sides played smarter and created opportunities in the attacking thirds. De Vanna played a ball to the top of the box to find Narin. She fired a shot while Barnhart dove to try and save. The ball went just beyond Barnhart’s hands to put the Spirit up the 67th minute.

FC Kansas City applied offensive pressure throughout the rest of the match, but neither team scored any additional goals. The Blues took a 2-1 road loss and begin to focus on Saturday’s match against first place Seattle Reign FC.

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