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Unbeaten streak continues: KC Current win 1-0 in Utah

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Photo Credit: KC Current/NWSL

A 40-minute weather delay meant a late start to the KC Current’s first visit to Utah, a meeting with two clubs sharing a bit of history as both cities saw the ending of their NWSL clubs, only to return under new ownerships. But that is only where there are similarities end as the season has been drastically different for Utah and Kansas City. The Current came into the game unbeaten and continued that streak with a 1-0 win, and Utah has yet to win a game since March 22.

Starting XI

Nichelle Prince earned her first start of the season as Vanessa DiBenardo started off in the bench. DiBenardo would substitute at the start of the second half for Prince. Bia Zaneretto was also available, returning after a foot injury that kept her out for four games.

First half: No goals, but KC was close

The score did not tell the tale, and Utah was lucky that this was not 2-0 at halftime. Alas, the Royals had some magical defensive stops to keep the Current scoreless, shutting down Temwa Chawinga on a few occasions, including a wide open shot that hit the crossbar in the 8th minute. Later in the 30th minute, Chawinga again had a wide open net, but Utah defender Lauren Flynn headed it out of the way. Chawinga finished the night with nine shots and five on target.

Utah did maintain the majority of the possession, but offensively, it was all Kansas City with 15-2 on shots, and 4-0 shots on goal for the first half, and 24 total shots on the night and eight on goal.

Worrisome note: In the 26th minute, defender Gabrielle Robinson went down with a knee injury and left the game. Elizabeth Ball took her place. Robinson will be evaluated in Kansas City when the team returns from the trip.

Milestone note: Lo’eau LaBonta became the first player in KC Current club history to record 5,000 regular season minutes.

Second half: Goalscorer record broken

Elizabeth Ball would become an important player in this game, becoming the Current’s 15th goalscorer, which would set a new NWSL record for most goalscorers in a single season. In the 58th minute, the Current were in the final third trying to break the 0-0 deadlock, and a series of passes from Debinha to LaBonta to Claire Hutton to Ball resulted in the Current’s first and only goal of the game.

The Current extended their unbeaten streak to 11 games, sitting at the number two spot in the standings behind the Orlando Pride.

NWSL Match Report
Match: Utah Royals vs. Kansas City Current
Date: May 25, 2024
Venue: America First Field, Salt Lake City, UT
Kickoff: 8:40 pm MT, 9:40 pm CT
Weather: 55 degrees, partly cloudy
Attendance: 7,491

Discipline
3’ – Tejada (Yellow)
90 + 7’ – Spaanstra (Yellow)
90 + 9’ – Mace (Yellow)

Scoring
58’ Kansas City – Ball (Hutton)

Utah Royals Lineup: Haught, Del Fava, Tejada, Flynn, Merrick (46’ Pogarch), Henry, Burns, Foederer (86’ Nyberg), Monaghan Β© (78’ Fraser), Mozingo (86’ Vansconcelos), Sentor (78’ Betfort)
Unused Substitutes:, Tagliaferri, Tucker, Gray, Roque

Kansas City Current Lineup: Franch, Rodriguez, Robinson (26’ Ball), Ballisager, Mace, Hutton (74’ Scott), LaBonta Β©, Debinha (81’ Zaneratto), Prince (46’ Dibernardo), Cooper (76’ Spaanstra), Chawinga
Unused Substitutes: Wheeler, Silkowitz, Pfeiffer, Lavogez

 



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