FC Kansas City and Seattle Reign FC play out an entralling 2-2 draw

Two goals within the space of a minute ensured that both teams shared the points tonight after a tough, tactical battle.

FC Kansas City and Seattle Reign FC play out an entralling 2-2 draw
Alexa Newfield celebrates opening the scoring | Source: Nick Tre. Smith-The Kansas City Star
FC Kansas City
2 2
Seattle Reign FC
FC Kansas City: Barnhart; Taylor, Sauerbrunn, Averbuch, Gibbons; Scott, LaBonta (Flynn, min. 89); Tymrak (Ratcliffe, min. 79); Groom, Leroux, Newfield (Kelly, min. 67).
Seattle Reign FC: Kopmeyer; Stott, McNabb, Barnes, Pickett (Nairn, min. 80); Elston, Yanez (Johnson, min. 65), Fishlock; Kawasumi, Mathias, Rapinoe (Dallstream, min. 89).
SCORE: 1-0, min. 23, Newfield. 1-1, min. 31, Rapinoe. 1-2, min. 81, Kawasumi. 2-2, min. 84, Kelly.
REFEREE: Farhad Dadkho (USA). Yellow Card: Elston (min. 73), Pickett (min. 74), Groom (min. 76), Leroux (min. 90).

Whenever FC Kansas City and Seattle Reign FC play each other in the National Women's Soccer League, it's always a tactical game of chess between the two head coaches, Vladko Andonovski and Laura Harvey. Tonight was no different and again, neither team could find the winning goal as they played out a 2-2 draw in the Kansas heat.

FC Kansas City dominate the first half but it ends all square

For most of the first half, the home side was the better team and they constantly found spaces in and around a reshuffled Seattle midfield and backline due to injuries to key personnel recently for the Reign. Seattle had to rely on goalkeeper Hayley Kopmeyer to make some great saves all throughout the first half to keep them in the game. Her fist save came in the 14th minute when she scooped up a shot from Shea Groom and the next one arrived in the 21st minute when she had to get down low quickly to stop a long range effort from Lo'eau LaBonta. Unfortunately for Kopmeyer, those in front of her gave too much space to FC Kansas City and they were punished for it in the 23rd minute when Alexa Newfield met Erika Tymrak's cross to give the home team the lead.

Conceding a goal seemed to wake Seattle up and they started to make some attacks of their own. In the 26th minute, they really should have equalised when both Beverley Yanez and Nahomi Kawasumi had the chance to put the ball into an unguarded net but could not connect with their finishes cleanly and allowed the FCKC backline to clear their lines. The uptick in tempo by Seattle paid off when, in the 31st minute, a corner found its way to Megan Rapinoe out wide who sent the ball in and it ended up in the back of the net untouched. Nicole Barnhart may have some fault in that goal as she came off her line and made no connection with Rapinoe's cross which allowed it to creep into the near post and give the Reign the equalizer. Former FCKC player Merrit Mathias could have given Seattle the lead in the 40th minute but her header went straight to Barnhart.

Nahomi Kawasumi continued her great start to the season with her second goal this year | Source: the-bold.net
Nahomi Kawasumi continued her great start to the season with her second goal this year | Source: the-bold.net

Two late goals by both teams end this game in a tie

The second half was more evenly matched as both teams did not want to allow the other to punish them on the break. Groom connected with a Becky Sauberbrunn free-kick in the 46th minute but Kopmeyer had her positioning right and had no trouble gathering the effort from Groom. Sydney Leroux was the next to test Kopmeyer with her first shot on target in the 56th minute but again, the Seattle goalkeeper made the save necessary to keep her team at level-pegging. Rapinoe then had a go from outside the box two minutes later but her effort was blocked by Desiree Scott. Two consecutive corners from that deflection ended with Rebekah Stott aiming at the goal but her shot went well wide. In the 74th minute, Seattle had another opportunity to gain the lead when they had three consecutive chances blocked by a sturdy FCKC backline but had Seattle's finishing been better, they would have found their goal.

The game continued to go back and forth as the second half began to wind down, even with the changes made by both teams and it was those changes that made the difference for both teams in the last ten minutes of the game. First, substitute Katie Johnson found Kawasumi unmarked in the FCKC box in the 81st minute and the Japanese international swerved away from a tackle before placing her finish past Barnhart. Just as Seattle were beginning to think they had found their first ever win in Kansas, poor marking from a corner allowed Yael Averbuch to find another substitute, Maegan Kelly, unmarked in the 84th minute and she finished well from close range. Neither team could find the winner in stoppage time and another game between these two teams ended in a draw.


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