June 18, 2017 - National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) - FC Kansas City
KANSAS CITY (June 17, 2017) - FC Kansas City extended their home unbeaten streak to seven games Saturday night as they battled to a 2-2 draw against rival Seattle Reign. Forward, Maegan Kelly's first career NWSL goal in the 86th minute sealed the draw late. The Blues now have 12 points on the season with a 3-3-3 record.
The match started fairly slow with both teams finding their fair share of possession. Both teams had opportunities on goal early on, Seattle earned an early free kick just outside the penalty box but the Reign forwards were unable to get on the end of a Megan Rapinoe's cross kick.
The Blues had opportunities of their own early on. In her first game since returning from U.S. Women's National Team duty, Sydney Leroux got a free header inside the box off a cross from Shea Groom, however the header went just wide.
Several minutes later, Seattle goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer was tested for the first time when Lo'eau Lobonta sent a strike on goal but the veteran goalkeeper pushed it wide.
Just moments later Kansas City forward Erika Tymrak, in her first start of the season, won the ball deep in the Seattle half, beat a defender and sent a beautiful chip that found the head of Alexa Newfield.
Newfield was able to head the ball just past the keeper to put the Blues up 1-0 in the 23rd minute. It was the second goal of Newfield's season and career.
However, Kansas City did not have the lead for long. After a Seattle corner kick, the ball found its way back out wide to Rapinoe who then whipped a ball in front of goal.
The ball went past both Kansas City and Seattle players catching KC goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart by surprise. The ball slipped right through Barnhart's hands and into the back of the night leveling the score up at 1-1 going into the half.
The second half started just as slow as the first, with the oppressive heat perhaps finally taking its toll. Play was sloppier from both sides for much of the half with more fouls and less lengthy spells of possession.
The game picked up midway through the second half and with it came some physical play. Three yellow cards were given out in the span of three minutes, two to Seattle and one to Kansas City; there were four yellow cards given throughout the night.
Finally, in the 80th minute the scoring resumed for both sides.
Seattle forward Katie Johnson sent through Nahomi Kawasumi on goal, Kawasumi beat a KC defender and slotted the ball past Barnhart to give the Reign a late 2-1 lead.
Just when it looked like the Blues might be handed their first loss at home since last season, the Kansas City offense came through.
In the 84th minute Yael Averbuch rifled a cross into box after an errant corner and Kelly was on the other end to score her first career NWSL goal and give the Blues a late draw at home.
FC Kansas City will next head to Seattle to face the Reign for the second game in a row next Saturday at 5:00 p.m.