“A Great Job on the Details”
Racing was up to the challenge on Wednesday night when they topped the Kansas City Current 3-2 in Louisville’s first Challenge Cup match of the year.
This is the second game Racing has won in a single week by scoring three goals. The previous Friday, they blanked the Chicago Red Stars 3-0 for their first win of the regular season and now on Wednesday, they earned their first Challenge Cup win as well.
In both games, Racing played well as an entire unit and managed to clean up many of the mistakes that caused them to give up results earlier in the season and play more consistently. Racing generated 16 chances overall compared to Kansas City’s six.
“We’ve just been doing a great job on the details – finishing our opportunities, getting numbers in the box,” said midfielder Savannah DeMelo who scored her first brace on Wednesday. “It’s just been a full team effort and a full 90 minutes in both (wins).”
Despite the close scoreline, this was a match almost entirely dominated by Racing. Louisville did get off to an initially shaky start and let in an early goal in the 17th minute. After a goal from Racing’s Uchenna Kanu was called back in the 24th minute, they got one back in the very next play when Jordan Baggett intercepted keeper A.D. Franch’s kick out and sent a perfect pass into Savannah DeMelo who was waiting at the top of the box. DeMelo sent in an unbelievable shot with the outside of her right foot into the upper left corner that froze Franch and put Racing on the board. Just four minutes later, DeMelo struck again as she collected a poorly cleared ball off a cross from Kanu to give Racing two.
— National Women’s Soccer League (@NWSL) May 18, 2023
In the second half, Racing stayed mostly on the front foot even when Kansas City subbed in major attacking powers like Debinha, Cece Kizer, and Lo LaBonta. Even so, in the 86th minute, Ary Borges added a third goal for Racing only a couple of minutes after subbing in thanks to a great run by fellow substitute Thembi Kgatlana. Racing got a little too eager for a fourth, however, because they decided to take a regular corner instead of a defensive one a couple of minutes later which allowed Debinha to break free and score after going virtually one-on-one against Racing’s keeper Katie Lund. When they earned another corner in stoppage time, they didn’t…