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ICYMI: KC Current win another one, defeating the San Diego Wave, 2-1

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Photo Credit: KC Current/NWSL
Photo Credit: KC Current/NWSL

In a game that featured rain, VAR, a PK, 32,066 fans, and 10+ minutes of stoppage time, it was the Current who held on to the end for another victory, winning 2-1 in San Diego against the Wave. An equalizer from defender Izzy Rodriguez at end of the first half, a penalty kick from midfielder Lo’eau LaBonta in the second half, and a KC defense that stood the Wave press were all necessary for the Current to win their second game of the season, improving to 2-0 for the season so far.

The Kansas City Current faced a tough road match test against the San Diego Wave, the 2023 NWSL Shield Winners, and a team kicking off their 2024 season at Snapdragon Stadium after their 2024 Challenge Cup win last week vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC to kick off the 2024 campaign. The Current would head to week two of the NWSL without Debinha (hamstring) and Hailie Mace (hip), adding to an already growing injury list that includes Michelle Cooper (calf), Hanna Glas – SEI (knee), Nichelle Prince (calf), Desiree Scott – SEI (knee) and Mallory Weber – SEI (knee).

With plenty of depth, head coach Vlatko Andonovski would rely on Izzy Rodriguez at left back and give Temwa Chawinga her first start of 2024, while continuing to trust younger players like Ellie Wheeler, who impressed with her debut last week scoring a goal, her first of her career as professional, and Claire Hutton who has, for now, become a starter in midfield.

KC Current Starting XI vs. San Diego Wave

We would find out how well this starting line up could contain a Wave team full of national team-level stars. Think Alex Morgan (USWNT), Naomi Girma (USWNT), Kailen Sheridan (Canada), Abby Dahlkemper (USWNT), and Sofia Jakobsson (Sweden) to name a few. It was a rough first 20 minutes for the Current as the Wave held the majority of the possession, and by the 16 minutes, San Diego had 8 shots. In the 17th minute, San Diego’s corner kick gave Hanna Lundkvist a chance for a header at very close range. Goalkeeper AD Franch managed to push the ball off from making past the net, but as it bounced back to the goal box, Wave forward Jakobsson was there to recover and send a left-footed shot to the bottom left corner for the 1-0 lead.

The Current continued to struggle for the majority of the first half, easily giving the ball away and losing possession. By the end of the first half, the advantage was all San Diego with 60.9% of possession and 81.5% passing accuracy. Kansas City, however, had their chances. Mainly, Chawinga made impressive runs past the Wave defense, with four shots in the first half, all from inside the penalty box. Her best chance was in the 26th minute, when her shot from the left side of of the box hit the nearside post.

Photo Credit: KC Current/NWSL

Kansas City would not leave the first half without a goal, though. Defender Izzy Rodriguez took advantage of a loose ball in the box and took a shot that deflected off her defender for the equalizer, putting the Current back in the game. The goal marked Rodriguez’s first goal of the season, and an important one as she made her first start of 2024.

The second half kept both teams tied at 1-1, and in a back-to-back defensive battle. Franch would be tested, and her 4 saves kept the Current in the game, and eventually significant for the win. Bia Zaneratto, though the Wave defenders marked her well throughout the game, could have had a major opportunity as the match headed into the 70th minute. As she dribbled through three defenders, she was tripped in the box. The call was not immediately called, but the Video Assistant Referee sent the play to review. It was a clear penalty, and a penalty kick was awarded to Kansas City. LaBonta stepped up to take the penalty for the Current and converted the shot right down the middle, giving Kansas City the 2-1 lead. With the goal, LaBonta extended her record as Kansas City’s all-time penalty kick leader, converting six of seven in the regular season for the club.

It took 13 minutes past 90 minutes for the game to end after stoppage time was added, and despite San Diego’s effort to equalize, the Current put on a strong defensive effort to earn the win, improving to 2-0 for the season. The Current return to CPKC Stadium on Saturday as they host Angel City FC at 2:30 pm CT.

NWSL Match Report
Match: San Diego Wave vs. Kansas City Current
Date: March 23, 2024
Venue: Snapdragon Stadium, San Diego, CA
Kickoff: 9:05 p.m. CT/7:05 PT
Weather: 55 degrees, cloudy
Attendance: 32,066

Discipline
24’ Kansas City – Hutton (Yellow)
90’+9 Kansas City – Lavogez (Yellow)

Scoring
18’ San Diego – Jakobsson
44’ Kansas City – Rodriguez
71’ Kansas City – LaBonta

Kansas City Current Lineup: Franch, Rodriguez, Robinson, Ball, Wheeler, Hutton, DiBernardo (72’ Lavogez), LaBonta Β©, Spaanstra (88’ Ballisager), Zaneratto (72’ Hamilton), Chawinga (72’ Pfeiffer)

Unused Substitutes: Steigleder, Feist, Silkowitz, Braun, Lauren

San Diego Wave Lineup: Sheridan, Lundkvist, Girma, Dahlkemper, Westphal (70’ Torpey), van Egmond, Doniak (64’ Shaw), Ali (45’ Colaprico), Morgan Β© (82’ Bennett), McCaskill, Jakobsson (82’ Carusa)

Unused Substitutes: Enge, McNabb, Barcenas, Beall

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