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KC Current No Longer Perfect at Home as they Tie Louisville



Credit: Thad Bell

The Kansas City Current were back home for the second straight game, this time hosting Racing Louisville, on Saturday night. They rolled out a similar lineup but put Michelle Cooper and Debinha back on the forward line with Temwa Chawinga since Bia was still out with injury. Stine Ballisager also got another start at CB next to Gabby Robinson over Elizabeth Ball.

Racing Louisville featured a couple fringe USWNT players in Savannah DeMelo and Taylor Flint (nee Kornieck).

First Half

The KC Current got off to a hot start putting Louisville under immense early pressure. A Kansas City breakaway saw Temwa release her pass to Debinha slightly too late and force Deb to come back to the ball, but it still forced a save and then the rebound was put off the crossbar.

KC kept the pressure on, and it took the better part of the 10 minutes for Louisville to even leave their half (only a mild exaggeration). But when they did cross, it almost ended the night of Izzy Rodriguez. She came in high on DeMelo and the ref was sent to the monitor for a potential red card. He came back and issued a yellow for studs to the thigh, which is his prerogative, and KC should consider themselves lucky.

The game settled down a bit until a shot/cross into the box from Emma Sears caught AD Franch out and snuck into the net. It sure looked like a cross, but it’ll go down as a shot on goal and Louisville were up 1-0. Against the run of play, but KC were chasing the game.

The Current had a few half chances go wanting until the 30th minute when there was a violent collision between Chawinga and Lauren Milliet that somehow both players were able to continue from after a couple minute delay and a bit of blood from the offender Milliet.

In the 33rd minute, Hailie Mace joined Rodriguez in the book when she took a bad touch and had to foul to stop a Louisville breakaway. Yellow card for the right back.

In the 44th minute a hustle play from Vanessa DiBernardo led for PK shouts from the crowd in attendance at CPKC Stadium. The VAR signaled down to the ref to take a look and penalty was the call. Lo LaBonta stepped to the spot and drilled the shot into the top left corner to tie the game 1-1.

After, she celebrated but putting the ball under her jersey which is usually the indication that someone is pregnant. Or is it just, “KC Baby.”

After eight minutes of relatively uneventful stoppage time, the teams went into the half tied 1-1.

Second Half

The Current were firmly in control to start the second half until a mistake in the 52nd minute nearly saw Mace pick up a second yellow card for a challenge on Flint. She stepped on her foot with a late challenge the ref would have been within his rights to send her off. She escaped with a warning.

In the 54th the Current were down the throats of Louisville again before the final attempt in the sequence by DiBernardo was deflected out for a corner.

Shortly after, Kansas City took the lead. Debinha found Michelle Cooper who picked out the top corner to put KC up 2-1! Cooper is the 13th goal scorer for the Current this season.

Right after the goal DiBernardo and Mace were subbed off for Nichelle Prince and Ellie Wheeler. Debinha moved to attacking mid and Prince to her spot on the left wing.

Moments later, Chawinga appeared to score but the goal was taken away for offside in the buildup to the goal. After that, there was another fairly long delay in the game to check for what I assume was a possible red card, but nothing was announced in the stadium or put on the video boards.

In the 67th minute a turnover coming out of the back from Kansas City led to a DeMelo shot that stung the palms of Franch and led to a corner. The corner was headed home by Abby Erceg to tie the game 2-2.

In the 70th minute it looked like KC may pull one back when Prince was taken down on the edge of the box, but the ref saw nothing in it and play went on. Two minutes later, Robinson went into the book for a yellow card challenge on DeMelo in the midfield where she whiffed on the ball.

In the 78th minute, KC made a double sub was made bringing on Claire Lavogez and Alex Pfeiffer came in for Debinha and Cooper.

The KC Current remained firmly in control but were struggling to put anything together before another eight-minutes of stoppage time was added (just like in the first half).

That stoppage time is just what the team needed as Gabby Robinson had her shot deflected and it looped over Katie Lund’s outstretched arms to put Kansas City ahead 3-2. Robinson is the team’s 14th goal scorer, tying an NWSL record very early in the season.

In the 90+4′ LaBonta was subbed off for Bailey Feist for the team’s final change of the evening. Just a minute later Franch was needed to push Reilyn Turner’s shot off the post and out for a corner to hold on to the lead! But it wouldn’t be enough.

A series of head injuries added quite a bit of stoppage time and KC didn’t help their cause but failing to maintain possession and shooting when they should kill a little time. And it’s just what Louisville needed to level it.

In the 90+13 minute, DeMelo dribbled the defense and tied it up.

Another two minutes were somehow added but it would end level 3-3. It’s the first time the KC Current haven’t won at CPKC Stadium. The KC Current are back in action next Saturday against the Utah Royals. Here are the full highlights.

Update 5/19/2024: Turns out the stoppage time was probably right. Obviously, the refs are inconsistent because they don’t always add for all the things they added on tonight, but it feels within the rules. As Vlatko and Cooper said post-game, they’ve got to play until the final whistle. 

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