FC Kansas City did just about enough to earn a win against The Seattle Reign in a tight match. Neither team allowed the opponents any time on the ball, and FCKC's narrow victory came from the few times they were able to be aggressive.
Back to back free kicks were awarded to both teams in the first seven minutes of the match starting with an aggressive foul on Lauren Cheney from Jessica Fishlock in the fourth minute. Two minutes later two FCKC players had their pass disrupted by Fishlock who progressed with the ball up the field only to be tackled from behind by Desiree Scott. Fishlock had an on-target shot but it was effortlessly cradled by GK Nicole Barnhart.
As a result of Seattle reducing their infamous physical play,FC KC were allowed more time on the ball, Unfortunately, Elli Reed did not read the memo and picked up a yellow card in the 29th minute for dragging down Kristie Mewis. The foul by Reed was uncalled for but it demonstrated the frustration the backline was experiencing as Kansas City had a dozen shots on goal but couldn't capitalize due to Michelle Betos supreme goalkeeping. Lauren Sesselmann had attempted to open the game in the 13th minute with a volley towards the Seattle net but Betos climbed up to bring it down.
On the other end of the field, Seattle only found a handful of opportunities for on target shots. Tiffany Cameron found the ball most often in the first half due to Fishlock's consistent passes to her but her strikes were largely hit wide of the goal and she was easily dispossessed by the FCKC defenders.
Seattle took a few knocks to their game in the latter half of the first half when the game took a short pause in the 23rd minute when Sesselmann hard checked Christine Nairn in the back of the thigh. In the 31st minute Fishlock added to Seattle's second yellow of the match, and Fishlock's third in the tournament. Another incident involving Fishlock occurred twelve minutes later when Scott tackled her yet again but no call was made by the referee which raised a ruckus amongst the Seattle fans.
A great second half start for Seattle partly due to Kansas City dropping their guard in the back allowing Cameron and Kaylyn Kyle to find space in the box around the defenders. Nairn had a promising run down the center into the box but Jen Buczkowski cut out the danger.
Calm and collected was FC Kansas City throughout the match; in contrast, Seattle was aggressive on the ball pushing forward and locating deep pockets in the box -- but their attack were cut down by Sesselmann, Leigh Ann Robinson and Becky Sauerbrunn. The opening goal in the 69th minute came from Renae Cuellar in the 6 yard box who received a cross from Sauerbrunn who found open space to push up into the box and essentially remain unmarked.