KC Current draw with Gotham FC to go unbeaten through four

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Current extend their unbeaten streak to four with a 1-1 draw against NJ/NY Gotham FC on Sunday.

Right winger Temwa Chawinga threatened Gotham early with a run into the box and a low right-footed shot that was saved by the left foot of former Current goalkeeper Cassie Miller in the eighth minute.

How the KC Current put their VAR TV in a YETI cooler

In the 17th minute, forward Bia Zaneratto beat Gotham forward Esther for a ball to begin a counterattack that saw Temwa flying past two defenders to receive a through pass and shoot a ball over Miller’s head to take a 1-0 lead.

In the 51st minute, a Gotham corner kick from Yazmeen Ryan resulted in an Esther header goal as she was wide open and unaccounted for at the back post.

The Current have allowed a set piece goal in three of their first four matches.

“There was a player that was literally assigned to be in the spot when the ball dropped,” head coach Vlatko Andonoski said. “The player didn’t execute it, which at the end of the day, you know, things like that [are] gonna happen and now we know how important it is: the execution of every little detail. It’s unfortunate that we got scored on a set play but, it’s something that we’re going to continue working and try to get better, you know, at the end of the day.

“It did change the result and change the outcome of the game so hopefully that is not what is going to happen in the future.”

Goalkeeper AD Franch recorded four saves during the match but even one goal given up is too many.

“I’m a goalkeeper. I don’t like balls going in the back of my net,” Franch said. “But it happens, and at the end of the day, any time the ball goes in the back of the net, you have to learn and grow from it and that’s what we’re gonna have to continue to do.”

Chawinga exited the match in the 86th minute with 16-year-old Alex Pfeiffer subbing in for her. Andonovski said she was cramping and the team didn’t want to take any chances by leaving her in the game.

Usually, KC’s press gives teams fits and flustered Gotham early, but Gotham’s press gave KC a lot that they could handle, resulting in Gotham holding 60% of possession.

“It was a tale of two halves,” Andonovski said. He thought the team controlled the game and played well in the first half.

“In the second half, they changed early on and put some really good players [in the game],” he said.

United States Women’s National Team players Crystal Dunn and Jenna Nighswonger subbed in to start the half for Gotham with USWNT forward Lynn Williams coming in the 59th minute.

“For us, we were just a little bit tired at that point. But overall the fact that we’re coming out here with a point, proud of the team, proud of the group, because this was a tough environment,” Andonovski said. “Go into their home opener against the (2023 NWSL) champions and get away getting a point, I think it’s a big point for us.”

“Away games it’s always nice to take a point home,” Franch said. “So I’m proud of that and proud of the effort of the team, and we will go back and we’ll continue to analyze. We’ll continue to get better at these set pieces, because right now it’s not good enough, and we need to get to a place where it is.”

Groups, businesses hope to start new traditions on KC Current game days

Gotham ended their night with a ring presentation for the players who were on the championship team.

Kansas City was outshot 14-10 (5-4 on goal). Defender Hailie Mace, forward Michelle Cooper, and midfielder Claire Lavogez all entered the match in the 66th minute.

It was Mace’s return from injury after missing the last two matches and Cooper’s first match of the season.

The Current are now 3-0-1 and still at the top of the NWSL standings to start the 2024 season and come back home to CPKC Stadium to host Bay FC on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to FOX 4 Kansas City WDAF-TV | News, Weather, Sports.