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KC Current dominate in Portland, win 4-1



Photo Credit: KC Current/NWSL

The Kansas City Current traveled to Portland for a major mid-season match against the Thorns, who since their last meeting on March 16, regained form, climbing to number 5 in NWSL standings, and coming in with the third highest number of goals in the league and with one of the top attackers in the NWSL, Sophia Smith (9 goals, 6 assists, 38 shots). So of course, there was belief that this game would be a challenge for the Current, especially after the game on March 16 that resulted in 9 goals, with the Current holding off a Portland comeback and after a 2-2 draw last week versus Chicago last week that could have been a win.

But in front of 20,024 at Providence Park, the KC Current showed why they are the top team in the NWSL, attacking early, scoring four goals, and keeping Portland to one goal. The 4-1 win marked 16 games unbeaten going back to the end of the 2023 season, tying an NWSL record. The Current also regained the number one spot in the NWSL standings, improving to 9-0-5 for the season thus far.

Starting XI

Playing in a 4-2-3-1, the Current would be without Vanessa DiBenardo, who was on concussion protocol, and relied on their young midfielder Claire Hutton to fill DiBenardo’s role.

The goals

Goal #1 – 31st minute, Lo’eau LaBonta. 1-0, KC.

The Current came into this game attacking early and aggressively, and it was important facing a team like the Thorns. On the first goal, Michelle Cooper sent a cross to the box where it was headed by Chawinga towards goal. Lo’eau LaBonta was able to finish it with her own header for the first goal of the game.

Goal #2 – 38th minute, Stine Ballisager. 2-0, KC.

Stine Ballisager would become Kansas City’s 17th goalscorer this season, scoring after a corner kick, after Portland cleared the ball on two attempts. Ballisager recovered in the box for a shot on goal, and her first club goal with the Current.

Goal #3 – 40th minute, Lo’eau LaBonta. 3-0, KC.

LaBonta’s goal came from a distance as Portland worked to stop the Current attack. The ball, however, fell into open space where LaBonta was able to take advantage and shoot a rocket towards the goal. The goal was LaBonta’s second of the game and first brace ever in her career in her 172nd game in all NWSL competitions (OptaJack).

Goal #4 – 47th minute, Temwa Chawinga. 4-0, KC

It was only a matter of time before Chawinga got a goal of her own, her 9th of the season. It might have taken 47 minutes, but Chawinga came attacking after halftime using her speed and ability to get past three Portland defenders for the fourth goal and a decisive one for the Current.

And yea, Portland scored in the 73rd minute. Sophia Smith wasn’t fully kept from scoring, but the Current leave Portland with three points and return home to CPKC Stadium to host the Houston Dash on Friday, June 28 at 7 pm.


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