OL Reign defeated in Kansas City (1-0) on Laura Harvey's debut
Still deprived of internationals Rose Lavelle, Megan Rapinoe and Quinn, resting after the Olympics, as well as Ally Watt and Rosie White, who are both injured, "The Bold" would have kept in mind an earlier win against Kansas City (2-0, with a double by Balcer, on July 11) before tackling the teams' second encounter of the season.
The first minutes of play were marked by two clear chances, one on each side. Fishlock responded to Labonta, but both of their efforts were narrowly off-target. There then followed a long period of more cautious play in which most of the possession was confined to midfield. Sofia Huerta tried her luck with an effort from the edge of the box that came close to Abby Smith's post.
There was also some bad news for the Reign at the half hour mark. The player of the moment, Eugenie Le Sommer (3 goals in the team's last two matches), had to give way to Tziarra King following a clash with an opposing player. Kansas City would be more dangerous at the end of the first half, but without finding an equalizer.
Kansas City break the deadlock
The score did not change after the teams came back from the locker room, even as Victoria Pickett cut inside from the left and hit a curling shot shot, which flashed just wide of Sarah Bouhaddi's goal (47’). It would be the same Victoria Pickett who ended up scoring the opener, happy to find the ball ar her feet after a free kick which had been blocked by the wall. The Kansas City right winger acted quickly to beat Bouhaddi from close range (1-0, 72’).
Despite repeated attacks by Laura Harvey's players in stoppage time, symbolized by Sofia Huerta’s header, the hosts would prevailed by the smallest of margins. OL Reign, who had not lost since July 18, still sit in 7th place in the NWSL standings with 19 points before hosting Gotham (Sunday the 22nd at 4:00 a.m. CET) and then leaders Portland (Monday the 30th at 1 a.m. CET).
Kansas City: Smith, Pickett, Edmonds, Ball, Weber, Bowen (Vincent, 87’), Pickett, Labonta, McCain, Mace (Silva, 84’), Hamilton (Miramontez, 90+5’).
OL Reign: Bouhaddi, Celia (Hammond, 64’), Cook, Hiatt, Barnes, Weatherholt (McNabb, 75’), Marozsán (Cruz, 75’), Fishlock (Pruitt, 86’), Huerta, Balcer (Angelina, 64’), Le Sommer (King, 35’).