After waiting out a two-hour lightning delay, FC Kansas City exorcised a few demons with a 1-0 victory Sunday against Sky Blue FC at Rutgers University’s Yurcak Field Stadium in Piscataway, N.J.
By TOD PALMER
The Kansas City Star
FC Kansas City, which coughed up two late goals in a disappointing draw June 26 in its previous match at Sky Blue FC, had nothing to show for a dominant first half, but coach Vlatko Andonovski pushed the right buttons late to secure a win.
With the victory, FC Kansas City, 10-4-5, extended its grip on first place atop the National Women’s Soccer League table. Andonoski’s squad, which is unbeaten in the last nine (5-0-4), leads both Sky Blue and the Portland Thorns FC by four points.
Two minutes after subbing on for Melissa Henderson, who was shaken up in a collision with Sky Blue goalkeeper Brittany Cameron, reserve forward Courtney Jones redirected a Lauren Holiday corner kick over the goal line for the game’s lone tally.
It was Holiday’s league-leading ninth assist and the third goal of the season for Jones, who started but was yanked before halftime during the last meeting with Sky Blue, 9-5-4.
“That was a hard game, but every athlete has those games,” Jones said. “Right now, coming off the bench all I do is sprint like crazy and try to give my team a lift. Hopefully, I did that today.”
With stoppage time approaching, Sinead Farrelly had a chance to ice the game in front of a wide-open Sky Blue net. She dribbled around Cameron and had a seemingly easy putaway, but didn’t get much behind her left-footed shot.
That allowed Lindsi Lisonbee Cutshall to making a sliding save at the goal line, which kept the remaining extra minutes interesting but didn’t impact the final outcome.