It wasn’t the rain that caused the 111-minute weather delay before the start of FC Kansas City’s match against the Chicago Red Stars on Saturday.
That honor went to the lightning.
The rain came later, and didn’t stop. The two clubs slogged through a soggy 90 minutes, and the Red Stars came away with a 2-1 victory at Swope Soccer Village.
“(The delay) doesn’t matter much. The thing is, both teams were in the same boat so it’s not like one or the other team got any advantage,” FCKC coach Vlatko Andonovski said.
The loss ended FCKC’s four-match shutout streak, as well as its five-match unbeaten streak.
Chicago’s Taryn Hemmings got the game-winner in the 82nd minute. FCKC keeper Nicole Barnhart got a hand on the initial shot. The ball bounced high off the post and right to Hemmings, who headed it into a yawning net.
Chicago improved to 4-0-2 and remains the lone unbeaten team in the NWSL.
FCKC’s best chance to equalize came near the end of regulation. Liberty native Shea Groom got in alone, but Chicago keeper Michele Dalton beat her to the ball and was able to clear it away.
All three goals came off of corner kicks. Chicago struck first in the 33rd minute, when Sofia Huerta redirected a low corner kick with her right heel and into the Kansas City net.
The Blues, 3-3-1, had the majority of chances after that. FCKC saw opportunities sail high and wide before finally cashing in in the 68th minute.
Erica Tymrak sent a corner kick into a crowded goal mouth, and defender Amy LePeilbet, smack in the middle of the mass of humanity, directed it into the net for her first goal of the season.
The Blues had more than a few opportunities to net another goal. Andonovski wasn’t buying the fact that the weather had anything to do with his club’s lack of finishing ability.
“I don’t think it was because of the weather. We had the opportunities. We just had to score. You’ve got to have killer instinct in and around the box,” Andonovski said.
Corner kick defense cost the Blues a chance to sit atop the NWSL standings.
“Obviously we got scored on twice on restart goals, and you cannot win games when you get scored on two corner kicks in the same game,” Andonovski said.
FCKC will now have to find answers on the road, where it plays the next three matches. The Blues won’t see Swope Soccer Village again until July 3.
Red Stars 2, FC Kansas City 1
KANSAS CITY: Nicole Barnhart, Elizabeth Bogus (56th), Shea Groom, Sarah Hagen, Yael Averbuch, Jen Buczkowski, Erika Tymrak, Mandy Laddish, Amy LePeilbet,
Chicago: 1, Huerta (DiBernardo), 33rd. 3, Hemmings (Lomnicki), 83rd. Kansas City: 2, LePeilbet (Tymrak), 67th.
Chicago: Johnson (reckless foul), 39th; Quon (reckless foul), 59th.
Kansas City: Groom (reckless foul), 90th+.