by Pat Clifton

KANSAS CITY (Dec. 22, 2019) - The Kansas City Comets split their Texas double header with a 5-2 loss to the Dallas Sidekicks Sunday at the Allen Event Center. The Sidekicks led nearly the entire contest. It was Dallas’ first win of the season, improving the club’s record to 1-4. For Kansas City, it was the first loss by more than a single goal, dropping the Comets to 2-3 on the year. 

The entire first quarter was a frenzied defensive tussle, with neither team scoring the opening 15 minutes. The first goal was a spectacular one, with Kristian Quintana blistering a shot towards the net and it violently bouncing off the face of Cameron Brown, who was standing on the goal line, for the score. Dallas made it 2-0 shortly thereafter when Arthur Ivo beat Saxby with two touches on the right side of the field. 

Late in the second quarter, Ray Saari fought through some contact in the middle of the attacking goalie box, finding Adam James on the back post for the Comets’ first score. The goal cut the deficit just before halftime. Dallas appeared to re-extend the lead with an RJ Luevano goal in the waning seconds of the half, but it was disallowed for a Sidekick penalty, ending the half 2-1 in Dallas’ favor. 

Kansas City’s fatigue from the back-to-back road games showed in Dallas’ first goal of the second half. Saxby and his defense had a communication blunder, leaving a ball un-played and allowing Brown to score his second goal of the game. For the second time in two days, the Comets trailed 3-1 going into the fourth quarter. 

Hopes of consecutive comebacks were piqued early when Leo Gibson scored on a rebound of a Robert Palmer shot, cutting the deficit to 3-2 with 11 minutes to play. There wasn’t enough left in the tank for another miracle, though. 

The Comets caught a break when Brown was sent off with a blue card for diving, but they couldn’t capitalize on the power play. Wind left Kansas City’s sails for good when Gustavo Piedra chipped Saxby from beyond midfield after a Comet turnover to stretch the lead to 4-2 with just under 10 minutes to play. 

Despite Lucas Rodriguez’s best efforts from the sixth attacker role, the Comets never scored again, and Quintana picked up a goal late to seal Dallas’ first win of the season. After opening the season with four-of-their-first-five games on the road, the Comets will play four of their next five at home. That stretch starts Dec. 28 at home against Danny Waltman and the Tacoma Stars.