Match Report: Kansas City Current extend NWSL’s longest active unbeaten streak with come-from-behind win over North Carolina Kansas City Current

Match Report: Kansas City Current extend NWSL’s longest active unbeaten streak with come-from-behind win over North Carolina

In yet another high-scoring matchup between the Kansas City Current (8-4-5, 29pts, T-2nd place) and North Carolina Courage (4-7-4, 16pts, 9th place), the Current earned a 3-2 victory at Children’s Mercy Park on Sunday night. Midfielder Lo’eau LaBonta opened the scoring with a first-half penalty kick and, after going down 2-1 early in the second half, forwards Cece Kizer and Kristen Hamilton scored three minutes apart from one another to turn the match around. Sunday’s result extended the Current’s unbeaten streak to 12 matches, which is tied for the second-longest unbeaten streak in the history of the NWSL. 

“Certainly, the team has shown the character that the game is never done," said head coach Matt Potter. "It doesn't matter the score, to be perfectly honest. They show the endeavor, they show the commitment, and they show the care for each other - that's the most exciting thing. When you see them play, they're definitely giving their all for each other. “

LaBonta kickstarted the scoring early. In the fifth minute, the referee whistled for a hand ball on a Courage defender inside the penalty area. LaBonta stepped up to take the spot kick and rolled the ball into the bottom corner to give the Current a 1-0 lead. The goal, LaBonta’s sixth of the 2022 regular season, placed her one goal shy of a league record for most penalty kick goals in a season. 

The Courage were not fazed by the early deficit and found a foothold in the match in the 28th minute. North Carolina forward Kerolin settled a through ball from defender Merritt Mathias and slotted it past Current goalkeeper AD Franch to level the match. 

Kansas City nearly crafted an immediate response minutes later as forward Claire Lavogez was inches from snatching her second NWSL goal. The French international tried to lob a shot over Courage goalkeeper Casey Murphy from the top of the penalty box in the 36th minute, but Murphy stretched to tip the ball over the crossbar. 

In the third minute of first-half stoppage time, the Current forced another save from North Carolina’s goalkeeper. Defender Hailie Mace bolted down the left flank and squared a ball to Lavogez, but Murphy tipped Lavogez’s goal-bound effort away. 

The sides remained level heading into halftime, but Kerolin wasted little time putting North Carolina in front in the second half with a breakaway goal in the 48th minute. 

Kansas City did not wait long to completely turn the match on its head. In the 56th minute, Kizer scored her sixth game-tying or go-ahead goal in 2022 with a glancing header on a corner kick. Rookie defender Alex Loera provided the assist. Then, three minutes later, Kansas City took the lead. Mace started the attack with a no-look pass in the penalty area that set fellow defender Kate Del Fava up for a crossing opportunity. Del Fava rolled a ball across the box to Hamilton, who slid in to score the go-ahead goal in the 59th minute. LaBonta, Kizer and Hamilton all scoring on Sunday night meant that there remains a three-way tie for both the team lead and club record for goals in a season, as the trio all have six goals on the season. 

Hamilton and Kizer both had opportunities as the match progressed to give the Current more of a cushion, but Murphy made multiple key stops to keep North Carolina within striking distance. Murphy made six saves in the contest. However, Kansas City did enough to keep the Courage off the scoresheet and saw out the 3-2 victory. The win improved Kansas City to a tie for second place in the NWSL standings, with Kansas City two points behind first-place San Diego with a match in hand. 

The Current will look to potentially capture the league’s top spot and extend its 12-match unbeaten streak after a week off. Kansas City visits NJ/NY Gotham FC on Sunday, Sept. 11 at 5 p.m. CT. After a mid-week road match against the Chicago Red Stars the following Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. CT, Kansas City returns to Children’s Mercy Park on Sunday, September 18 at 4 p.m. CT against the Portland Thorns. 

Season Tickets and Flex plans are available for all home matches at Children’s Mercy Park. For pricing and information visit kansascitycurrent.com

NWSL Match Report
Match: 
Kansas City Current vs. North Carolina Courage
Date: August 28, 2022
Venue: Children’s Mercy Park, Kansas City, Kansas
Kickoff: 6:08 p.m. CT/7:08 p.m. ET
Weather: 88 degrees, Sunny
Attendance: 7,395

Discipline
65’ North Carolina – Speck (yellow)
87’ Kansas City – Ball (yellow)

Scoring
5’ Kansas City – LaBonta (PK)
28’ North Carolina – Kerolin (Mathias)
48' North Carolina – Kerolin (Kurtz)
56’ Kansas City – Kizer (Loera)
59’ Kansas City – Hamilton (Del Fava)

Scoring Summary

Goals                          1           2         F
Kansas City               
1           2           3
North Carolina         
1            1            2                          

Lineups:
Kansas City: 
Franch, Edmonds (73’ Merrick), Ball, Loera (83’ Leach), Scott, LaBonta (82’ Rodriguez), Kizer (77’ Curran), Lavogez (73’ Bennett), Hamilton, Mace, Del Fava
Substitutes Not Used: McCain, Miller, Nolf, Winebrenner

North Carolina: Murphy, C. Pickett, Erceg, Kurtz, Mathias (77’ Williams), Kerolin, Ordoñez (70’ Ratcliffe), Debinha, Nagano (70’ Daniels), Speck, Pinto (90+2’ Berkely)
Substitutes Not Used: Baisden, Bowen, Gray, K. Pickett, Rowland

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