After taking an early lead, the Kansas City Current were defeated by two second half goals from the Washington Spirit. With the Chicago Red Stars victory tonight, the Current is still in the hunt for the NWSL Playoffs.
“I’m sitting here with a very disappointed feeling over the loss,” said interim head coach Caroline Sjöblom. “We deserved a better result today. I’m proud of the way we played and the chances we created and the way we controlled the game, but it’s more than that – it’s set pieces, it’s transitions and today, that’s how Washington won the game.”
The Spirit kicked off the match with high pressure tactics, finding the first chance of the game in the second minute. A turnover at midfield led to a long ball that found forward Ouleymata Sarr charging toward the back post. An inspired bit of emergency defending from Elizabeth Ball prevented an early lead for the home team.
Kansas City was first to find the back of the net in the 21st minute. Hailie Mace poked a beautiful pass through the back line to find Michelle Cooper sprinting toward goal. The rookie was dragged down by defender Sam Staab, and the referee whistled for a penalty kick.
Debinha stepped up to the spot for Kansas City and buried it to the left of Aubrey Kingsbury.
Debinha has taken seven penalty kicks in her career, with five of those against Kingsbury. With tonight’s goal, Debinha has scored three of her five opportunities against the goalkeeper.
The Current finished out the first half strong, holding 61% of possession and logging three shots on target to the Spirit’s one.
Just after halftime, the Spirit equalized, taking advantage of a set piece opportunity. A long cross from a corner kick found Tara McKeown on the far side. She laid off a pass to Sarr, and the NWSL newcomer launched a shot past AD Franch for her first goal in the league.
Washington doubled its lead in stoppage time with a goal from Trinity Rodman. The forward charged past the Current defense and slotted the ball past Franch for the win.
The Current host the team’s first international club friendly at home on Wednesday against Liga MX Femenil powerhouse CF Monterrey. Then, the team continues its playoff push at home against the Chicago Red Stars on Saturday, October 7. Tickets are available at kansascitycurrent.com/tickets.
NWSL Match Report
Match: Washington Spirit vs. Kansas City Current
Date: Sept. 30, 2023
Venue: Audi Field, Washington, D.C.
Kickoff: 6:07 p.m. CT/7:07 p.m. ET
Weather: 72 degrees, mostly cloudy
20’ Washington – Staab (Yellow)
39’ Kansas City – Mace (Yellow)
58’ Kansas City – Rodriguez (Yellow)
87’ Kansas City – Robinson (Yellow)
21’ Kansas City – Debinha (PK)
52’ Washington – Sarr (McKeown)
90+1’ Washington – Rodman (Carle)
Goals 1 2 F
Washington 0 2 0
Kansas City 1 0 0
Washington Spirit Lineup: Kingsbury ©, Carle, Staab, McKeown, Butel (78’ Bailey), Metayer, Sullivan, Sarr (72’ Biegalski), Sanchez (72’ Feist), Rodman, Hatch (90+5’ Brooks)
Unused Substitutes: Barnhart, Elwell, Huster, Sheva, Ricketts
Kansas City Current Lineup: Franch, Rodriguez (72’ Lavogez), Robinson, Ball, Del Fava, Debinha, LaBonta © (85’ Curran), Loera, Kizer (57’ Spaanstra), Mace, Cooper
Unused Substitutes: Miller, Larsson, Ballisager, Winebrenner, Merrick, Lauren