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Holiday lifts KC past Portland, to 6th straight win

Lauren Holiday scored the game-winner vs. Portland to lift FC Kansas City to a sixth straight win. (Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

Lauren Holiday’s goal on the verge halftime stood up as FC Kansas City extended its winning streak to six games with a 1-0 victory over Portland Thorns FC on Saturday at Durwood Stadium.

FC Kansas City is now unbeaten in eight straight matches, having last lost to unbeaten Seattle Riegn FC on May 14.

Holiday scored in the 41st minute on a shot that took a severe deflection before beating Portland goalkeeper Nadine Angerer. Holiday began the counterattack, springing Amy Rodriguez in behind the Thorns defense with a long-ball from behind midfield. Rodriguez held the ball up and found Holiday at the top of the box for the shot, which deflected off a Thorns defender and past Angerer.

The goal came a minute after a huge double save from Angerer, the first of which came on Leigh Ann Robinson’s left-footed shot after the defender cut inside on an overlapping run.

FC Kansas City nearly went ahead in the 29th minute when Holiday found Rodriguez in behind Portland’s defense, but Rodriguez was off balance when she struck her left-footed shot and sent the ball wide.

Alex Morgan had the best chance to put Portland ahead in the first half, having a header cleared off the line in the 19th minute. Jenna Richmond had the goal-saving header for the Blues.

Thorns midfielder Allie Long nearly scored the equalizer in the 84th minute, but her right-footed shot from 22 yards out hit the crossbar after Kansas City goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart got the slightest of touches on the ball.

Sarah Hagen made her FC Kansas City debut in the 77th minute, replacing Rodriguez. Hagen joined the team earlier this month after finishing her Frauen-Bundesliga season with FC Bayern Munich.

FC Kansas City, firmly in second place in the NWSL, extended its cushion over the third-place Western New York Flash to 10 points.

Portland, meanwhile, continues its inconsistent streak and falls to 6-6-2 on the season. The Thorns fall to sixth place  after the loss and Washington’s win, although Portland is tied on points (20) with the Flash and the Chicago Red Stars.


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