FC Kansas City’s defense showed vulnerability for the first time this season on Saturday. It’s only fitting that one of the world’s greatest goal scorers was responsible.
By SAM MCDOWELL
The Kansas City Star
Western New York forward Abby Wambach scored two goals in a five-minute span in the first half, helping the Flash hand FC Kansas City its first loss of the season, a 2-1 defeat at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, N.Y.
“I think Western New York was the better team tonight and deserved to win,” FC Kansas City coach Vlatko Andonovski said. “Abby Wambach did what she does — get in the box and score goals.”
The second-leading goal-scorer in United States Women’s National Team history, Wambach opened the scoring in the 34th minute. It marked the first deficit of the spring for FC Kansas City and ended a 237-minute shutout streak from keeper Nicole Barnhart.
Five minutes later, Wambach took advantage of a defensive miscue to add another goal, sending FC Kansas City into the halftime locker room with a two-goal deficit.
The Blues, 2-1-1, closed the gap to one goal when Lauren Cheney headed a pass from Leigh Ann Robinson past Western New York goalie Adrianna Franch in the 53rd minute. But they failed to find an equalizer over the ensuing 37 minutes plus extra time.
Western New York improved to 2-2-1.
“We fought hard in the second half, but we were a little unorganized,” Andonovski said. “This week we’re going to focus on being more disciplined.”