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Kansas City ties WNY, maintains third place

Nicole Barnhart
Nicole Barnhart

Nicole Barnhart came up big for Kansas City on Sunday in a 0-0 draw with the Flash. (Photo Copyright Amanda McCormick | www.amandamccormick8.com)

What looked like a sizzling game on paper ended in a 0-0 draw thanks in part to a baking hot day.

In a physical match between FC Kansas City and the Western New York Flash, neither team was able to find the back of the net and take a definitive step up in the rankings on the 90-plus degree. Kansas City was unable to find the game-winner to send the home crowd of 5,031 fans at Verizon Wireless Field home happy despite a couple of late shots on goal from Erika Tymrak and Jen Buczkowski.

While the game did not lack in chances for either side, Nicole Barnhart came up with a couple of crucial saves and most of FC Kansas City’s shots on goal were targeted directly at the Flash’s Adrianna Franch.

Kansas City had the better of the match for the opening minutes, but Abby Wambach sent a header off the woodwork in the 9th minute (she was eventually deemed offside).  The Flash wouldn’t get another decent look on goal until the 33rd minute, when Wambach and Australian Sam Kerr linked up twice for scoring attempts.  Wambach sent a long cross into the box, and Kerr was able to get on the other end of it for a mid-air, half-volley, but the angle and Kansas City’s defending was too much to overcome and the ball found only side netting.

A few seconds later, it was Kerr sending a cross in for Wambach, but Wambach’s first touch was blocked (a bit unintentionally) by Becky Sauerbrunn out for a corner kick.

Western New York would get the best chance of the second half as well, with Wambach sending a rocket from the top of the box.  It took a full extension from Barnhart to push the shot over the crossbar.  In the final 10 minutes, Kansas City found a second wind in the heat to put pressure on the Flash defense.  Tymrak continued to weave through the midfield without much contest from white jerseys, but final touches from the Blues were lacking.

The draw leaves FC Kansas City (7-4-4) stuck in third place with 25 points, now only one point behind the struggling Thorns, who have a game in hand.  Western New York (6-3-5, 23 pts.) now has a four point lead over the Boston Breakers for the final playoff spot.  The Flash will now head to the West Coast for matches against Seattle Reign FC on Thursday and Portland Thorns FC on Sunday.  FC Kansas City heads to Chicago to face the Red Stars next Sunday.

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