Through the first 45 minutes of Sunday's matchup with F.C. Kansas City, the Breakers asserted themselves as a formidable offensive power: precise build-up, crafty passing and consistent pressure nearly resulted in a go-ahead goal. A less-than-stellar second-half showing doomed the Breakers, however, as the club conceded twice en route to a 2-0 defeat.
In the opening moments, both clubs traded attacking opportunities, though neither side found space to link-up in the attacking third. In the 27th minute, the Breakers generated the first legitimate chance of the match, when defender Julie King guided a quick counter up field. Strong combination play between forward Katie Schoepfer and midfielder Lianne Sanderson--along with with Schoepfer's resolve to stay over the ball in traffic--left the forward open in front of goal. She ripped a shot on frame, forcing FCKC goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart to tip the shot over the crossbar.
The ensuing corner kick created yet another goal-scoring opportunity for the starving Breakers. A deep cross from Sanderson found defender Cat Whitehill on the touchline, who struck a one-touch volley onto the far post. King netted the pass with a surging header, seemingly putting her club in front, though the official felt the ball had crossed the touch line. King's goal was disallowed.
Ten minutes later, the Blues developed a chance of their own. Skillful build-up play left midfielder Jen Buczkowski open at the top of the box; the Notre Dame alum ripped a shot from just inside the 18, though Boston goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher proved up to the task, making a sprawling save to her left.
One minute later, a Lauren Holiday corner found the head of Frances Silva, who struck the crossbar and had her attempt cleated by the Breakers back line. Her header marked the final opportunity of the first frame, sending the match into a 1-1 deadlock at the break.
In the second 45, FC Kansas City stepped onto the field as the more goal-ready club. Midfielder Erika Tymrak immediately inherited the match's tempo, as her side pushed forward into the attacking third.
In the 62nd minute, the Blues finally found their stride. An in-swinging corner kick from Amy Rodriguez created chaos in front of goal, only to be tapped in by defender Nikki Phillips. The goal served as a devastating break for the home side, as the Breakers fought hard during a much-improved showing--only to fall into a 1-0 hole.
For the remaining half-hour of play, the Breakers vied for the equalizer, creating a number of half-chances. Sanderson, Schoepfer and midfielder Heather O'Reilly continued to link-up well, though the trio failed to generate a shot on frame.
In the 82nd minute, the Blues put away the reeling Breakers for good. With space on the right side, Buczkowski sent a curling though ball across the mouth of goal, setting up an easy tap-in for Rodriguez. A pair of last-minute chances evaded the Breakers, who failed to score at home for the first time this season.
For Tom Durkin's club, an improved attacking performance did little to impact the final result, forcing his side to surrender a league-worst sixth loss in seven matches.
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