FC Kansas City won 2-0 over Portland Thorns FC in front of 2,997 fans at Verizon Wireless Field in downtown Kansas City, MO. The goals were credited to team leaders Amy Rodriguez and Lauren Holiday. The Blues now advance to the championship match with the opponent and location being determined after the second semifinal match on Sunday.
The match had a slower pace due to the notorious Kansas City summer heat. The action was still what is expected of Kansas City and Portland. In the opening minutes, Kansas City had an attack that had potential. The play slipped past Portland’s backline and ended in an offside call.
In the 14th minute, rookie Jenna Richmond made a beautiful run in to the attacking third. She had the first promising play of the match when she fired off a shot at goalkeeper, Nadine Angerer. The ball rolled just wide of the net but set a tempo for the match.
Portland’s Emily Menges and Erika Tymrak both went for the ball just beyond midfield in the 21st minute. Menges tackled Tymrak who tumbled to the turf. The referee showed Menges a yellow for the first caution of the match.
Rodriguez experienced a controversial moment late in the second half when she was taken down in the box by Portland’s defense. The referee did not call for a foul or a penalty kick and the play continued in to the final seconds of the first half. Without that call, the teams went to the locker room scoreless.
After the break, both teams reentered the heat and prepared for the second half. Rodriguez broke the stalemate in the 63rd minute with a play from Holiday. Kansas City’s dynamic duo struck Portland’s defense with world-class style and gave the Blues a lead.
Kansas City doubled the lead in the 87th minute with a goal from Holiday. Sarah Hagen sent a beautiful ball to Holiday; she redirected the ball and found the back post for the Blues’ second goal.
The match ended minutes later and solidified Kansas City’s ticket in the championship match. The Blues will either host the Washington Spirit or visit Seattle Reign FC depending on the winner of Sunday’s Match. FC Kansas City will play for the NWSL Championship on Sunday, August 31st at 3:00 PM.