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The Current in a Sharing Mood in Texas



Photo Credit: Thad Bell | KC Soccer Journal

The Kansas City Current headed south to lock horns with the Houston Dash in a matchup of two teams (11th and 9th in the standings, respectively) trying to make late season pushes into playoff position. The big news coming into the match for the Current was that Brazilian star Debinha was unavailable due to COVID protocol and so the one change to the starting lineup for KC was last weekend’s goal scorer, Kizer, slotting in to Debinha’s spot.

Also, though teams are likely getting used to this in today’s warming world, the heat index in Houston at kickoff was around 110.

The first ten minutes of the match belonged to the Dash and they came within a few inches at least twice of latching on to the end of a cross, but ultimately Houston sent exactly zero first half shots on target at Franch’s goal. Meanwhile, Kansas City slowly but surely grew into the game and ended up with an 11 to 4 (4 to 0 on target) first half shot advantage. Unfortunately, instead of finding the back of the net, KC seemed determined to give Houston keeper, Jane Campbell, new additions to her highlight reel. First, on a beautiful corner kick sequence, Kizer nodded the ball to where Campbell wasn’t…only somehow she was. A few moments later, it was Ball connecting with her head and again Campbell materialized from nowhere to save the Dash. Finally, the best chance of the half fell to Hamilton who received an inch-perfect pass from Kizer behind Houston’s D. She raced just into the box, forced Campbell to charge out, but instead of simply dribbling around the netminder, Hamilton tried to flick it with the outside of her boot and completely mis-hit it wide.

While the first half finished scoreless, it didn’t take the Current long into the second half to turn their statistical advantages into a goal. After a flurry of action in the box, the ball bounced out to LaBonta who measured it and blasted it just inside the far post. As heroic as Campbell had been through the first 45, there was nothing she could do with Lo’s 50th minute blast.

Following that goal, though, Kansas City let the Dash climb back into the match. Houston picked a couple of moments to play a high press that seemed to really challenge KC—one of which led directly to Houston’s tying goal. The Current tried to build out of the back and once they turned it over, failed to effectively clear. That eventually granted Alozie with the ball and time to line up a shot a step inside the 18 that just kissed off the inside of the far post leaving Franch no chance to reach it.

From that moment on, the game fully opened up with both teams trading chances. A moment into stoppage time, Larsson got past her defender and sent a cross through the six that found Spaanstra’s back leg instead of her front. At the 90+7 minute mark, a foul from Rodriguez gave Houston one final chance to steal all three points with what amounted to a short corner. The ball bounced wide of Franch’s net and upon her restart, the whistle blew.

While both teams had strong spells and could make a claim for being worthy of victory, this really feels like a missed opportunity for the Current. Not only did KC come in to Houston with 4 wins in 5 matches there all time (never having scored fewer than two goals), but only a Herculean effort from Campbell (and a curious choice from Hamilton) kept them off the scoreboard in the first half. And by dropping two points from a winning position, they made the mountain they need to climb to achieve the playoffs that much higher.

At least they no longer have that weird distinction of earning no draws on the season.

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