Match Report: Second-half rally helps Kansas City Current draw 2-2 with Orlando Pride, extend unbeaten streak to eight matches Kansas City Current

Match Report: Second-half rally helps Kansas City Current draw 2-2 with Orlando Pride, extend unbeaten streak to eight matches

Facing a multi-goal deficit for the first time since the NWSL Challenge Cup Semifinal on May 4, the Kansas City Current (5-4-4, 19pts, 6th place) rallied for a thrilling 2-2 draw with the Orlando Pride (3-5-5, 14pts, 8th place) on Sunday night at Children’s Mercy Park. The draw extended Kansas City’s franchise-best unbeaten streak to eight matches, and forwards Elyse Bennett and Cece Kizer notched crucial second-half goals to earn the come-from-behind draw.  

"In the first half, we would go to get on the ball and then that second movement, third movement to help each other kind of seemed off,” said head coach Matt Potter. “In the second half, once we changed the tempo, changed the rhythm and the passes were cleaner, the quality was better, then we showed how dangerous we could be."

Orlando opened the scoring in the 25th minute on its first shot of the match. Midfielder Erika Tymrak lofted a cross into the Current’s penalty box and found a leaping Celia Jiménez, who nodded the ball past Current goalkeeper AD Franch for the contest’s opening goal. Orlando's 1-0 lead marked the first time Kansas City had faced a deficit in NWSL play since June 18 against Chicago and snapped the Current’s 205-minute shutout streak. The Pride’s 1-0 lead stood heading into halftime. 

The Pride quickly extended their advantage in the opening moments of the second half. Following a scrum in the Current’s penalty box, Franch was knocked off the ball and seemingly hurt. Orlando midfielder Meggie Dougherty Howard took advantage and found a wide-open Julie Doyle six yards from goal. Doyle tapped the ball home to double Orlando’s lead in the 46th minute. 

From there, the Current took over the match. Bennett, who entered the match as a second-half substitute, struck first. The rookie drove down the right side of Orlando’s defense and weaved her way deep into the Pride penalty area. Coming down the end line, she then fired a low shot past goalkeeper Erin McLeod that found the net after striking the inside of the post. 

The second-half action wasn’t entirely one-sided. Orlando lifted a dangerous free kick to the back post that fell to midfielder Mikayla Cluff in the 72nd minute, but Franch reacted brilliantly to make a sprawling save that kept the Current’s deficit at one goal. Franch had three total saves in Sunday’s match. 

Kansas City didn’t wait much after Orlando’s near-goal to level the match. In the 82nd minute, forward Cece Kizer latched onto a pass from midfielder Lo’eau LaBonta. Kizer beat a charging McLeod to the ball, deftly looped the ball over the goalkeeper’s head and slotted the ball into an empty net to complete the comeback. The goal marked Kizer’s third game-tying or go-ahead goal for the Current this season, all of which have come during the team’s ongoing unbeaten streak. Kansas City nearly found a winner, but McLeod denied forward Kristen Hamilton’s close-range effort 2 minutes into second half extra time that helped send the match to a 2-2 finish. 

The Current will look to extend its eight-match unbeaten streak on the road next weekend against the San Diego Wave on Sunday, August 7 at 4:00 p.m. CT. 

The Current encourages fans from across the region to #ShowUpKC for the team’s next home match at Children’s Mercy Park on Friday, August 19 against Angel City FC. The team looks to break the all-time Kansas City attendance record and fill the seats with over 10,000 fans. 

Tickets for all remaining 2022 home matches and 2023 Season Ticket Membership renewals are available online at KansasCityCurrent.com/tickets.   

NWSL Match Report
Match: Kansas City Current vs. Orlando Pride
Date: July 31, 2022
Venue: Children’s Mercy Park, Kansas City, Kansas
Kickoff: 6:08 p.m. CT/7:08 p.m. ET
Weather: 89 degrees, sunny
Attendance: 7,192

Discipline
38’ Orlando – Dougherty Howard
39’ Orlando – Listro
64’ Kansas City – Mace
66' Orlando – Montefusco
68' Kansas City – Scott
83’ Kansas City – Pickett

Scoring
25' Orlando – Jiménez (Tymrak)
46' Orlando – Doyle (Dougherty Howard)
57' Kansas City – Bennett (Mace)
82' Kansas City – Kizer (LaBonta)  

Scoring Summary

Goals                   1              2             F

Kansas City    0             2             2

Orlando            1              1              2

Lineups:
Kansas City: Franch, Leach (45’ Bennett), Ball, Merrick (78’ Winebrenner), Pickett, Scott (73’ Curran), LaBonta, Hamilton, Kizer, Mace (73’ Rodriguez), Del Fava
Substitutes Not Used: Johnson, McCain, Miller, Nolf

Orlando Pride: McLeod, Strom, Lawrence, Montefusco, Jiménez, Dougherty Howard (84’ Kim), Doyle (58’ Petersen), Abello (69’ Jónsdóttir), Villacorta, Listro, Tymrak (69’ Cluff)
Substitutes Not Used: Cosme, Moorhouse, Pressley, Reiss, Washington

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