NWSL: Temwa Chawinga’s big game leads Current past Reign

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Temwa Chawinga had two goals and an assist as the Kansas City Current moved into a share of first place in the National Women’s Soccer League with a 5-2 victory over the visiting Seattle Reign on Sunday.

Vanessa DiBernardo, Lo’eau LaBonta and Lauren also scored for the Current (8-0-4, 28 points), which pulled even with Orlando atop the standings.

Jordyn Huitema tallied both goals for the Reign (2-9-1, 7 points), who suffered a fourth consecutive defeat since a scoreless draw with Kansas City on May 8 in Seattle.

The Current scored twice in the opening 90 seconds of the second half to break a 2-2 tie.

Just 30 seconds into the half, Chawinga drove the ball down the left wing and sent a cross to the top of the 6-yard box, and halftime substitute DiBernardo put a volley past Seattle goalkeeper Laurel Ivory.

Chawinga made it 4-2 a minute later, picking up a loose ball near midfield and charging in on a breakaway. She put a low, 12-yard shot into the left side netting for her team-leading seventh goal of the season.

LaBonta converted a penalty kick in the 67th minute to cap the scoring.

Both teams scored twice in the first half.

Seattle struck first on a counterattack in the 24th minute. Huitema ran onto Veronica Latsko’s cross from the right wing and put a 5-yard volley past goalkeeper AD Franch.

The Current tied the score just four minutes later. Defender Elizabeth Ball sent a long pass from her own end of the field down the right wing. Michelle Cooper tracked the ball down and sent a cross to a wide-open Chawinga for a tap-in from 4 yards out.

The Reign regained the lead on a set piece in the 41st minute. Sofia Huerta sent a free kick diagonally to Jess Fishlock on the right side. Fishlock’s cross to the far post pinballed off a pair of players, with the ball caroming back across the goalmouth. It took one bounce off the turf before Huitema put a diving header into the net before crashing into Franch.

The Current tied it off a left-wing corner in first-half stoppage time. The ball deflected off Kansas City’s Bia Zaneratto and fell to Lauren at the near post. She lunged to get a foot on the ball and poke it into the net from 2 yards out.

–Field Level Media

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