KC Current hold on to beat Portland in inaugural CPKC Stadium match

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It was one of the best ways for the Kansas City Current to open their historic CPKC Stadium.

The Current were victorious in their first match at the first stadium purpose-built for a professional women’s soccer team with an electric 5-4 win over the Portland Thorns.

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It’s the Current’s second win all-time against the Thorns in their 10 matches.

KC’s Debinha found Bia on a through pass in the 11th minute for a shot that went just right of the net.

After the next goal kick, Bia was open for another shot in the center of the box that also went wide right.

In the 17th minute, a Hailie Mace corner-kick found its way to winger Alexa Spaanstra who sailed the ball over the net.

In the 22nd minute, Debinha picked off a pass from Portland goalkeeper Shelby Hogan. Debinha’s shot went through Hogan’s legs and bounced off Hogan and midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo scored the first goal in CPKC Stadium history.

Rookie Ellie Wheeler came up from her right back spot to fire in the second goal in CPKC Stadium history in the 25th minute off of a cross into the box from Mace that bounced off of Portland defender Marie Müller.

Wheeler also became the 400th player to score a goal in NWSL history.

Kristen Hamilton subbed in for Debinha in the 32nd minute after the Brazilian went down with a hamstring injury.

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After several shot attempts, Bia received a beautiful through pass from DiBernardo to notch her first goal as a member of the Current in the 34th minute.

On a Portland corner kick, Kelli Hubly’s shot hit off of the left post in the 41st minute. Shortly after, midfielder Jessie Fleming won a ball from Lo LaBonta and sent it to striker Sophia Smith.

Smith was open in the middle of the pitch from distance and blazed a right-footed shot past KC keeper AD Franch in the bottom right corner to cut KC’s lead to 3-1 in the 43rd minute.

The Current outshot the Thorns 11-8 in the first half.

Kansas City notched two more goals in the second half from Kristen Hamilton and 16-year-old attacker Alex Pfeiffer who subbed on for Bia at the beginning of the second half.

Pfeiffer is the youngest player to score a goal in KC Current history and NWSL history.

Forward Temwa Chawinga tallied an assist on Pfeiffer’s goal.

Portland cut KC’s lead to 5-3 with goals from Janine Beckie in the 71st minute and Smith, her second of the match, in the 75th minute.

Beckie netted a brace with another goal in the 91st minute that brought the Thorns within one of the Current at 5-4 with six more minutes to go in stoppage time.

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Kansas City held on the rest of the way to clinch the win.

The club ended up being outshot by Portland 18-17 while the Thorns outpaced the Current throughout the back half of the second frame with 54% of possession.

Kansas City opens the 2024 NWSL season undefeated with a win.

The Current hit the road next Saturday to face the San Diego Wave at 9 p.m. before coming back to CPKC to host Angel City FC on Saturday, March 30 at 1:30 p.m.

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