Action from Gotham FC’s draw with Racing Louisville FC. (Photo courtesy of Gotham FC)
MONTCLAIR, N.J. – NJ/NY Gotham FC is aiming for the 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup title.
The team advanced to the competition’s final via a scoreless draw with Racing Louisville FC at MSU Soccer Park Sunday.
Gotham FC, which captured the Eastern group with a 2-0-2 record and eight points, will meet the Portland Thorns Saturday, May 8 at 1 p.m. ET. The final’s venue has yet to be determined by the league.
“We needed this result or better, so we’re certainly happy that we came away with the tie and that allows us to go into the championship,” acting Gotham FC head coach Becca Moros said. “A big thing is consistency and we’re trending in the right direction. Some results can be misleading, so the biggest thing for us is looking at this with clearer eyes, going through some film and seeing what we need to improve on to prepare for Portland.”
The first half saw Gotham FC much better in possession than its previous match against the Washington Spirit and equally on the front foot.
The best opportunities came from Midge Purce, Carli Lloyd and Jennifer Cudjoe. whose chances on goal missed by the narrowest of margins. Racing Louisville FC seemed determined to play the spoiler, imposing its physical style on the home team.
The visitors’ best moments were wide of the target or recovered by Gotham FC goalkeeper DiDi Haracic, who made two saves.
Former OL Reign and Sky Blue FC midfielder Allie Long made her Gotham FC debut at the start of the second half.
Gotham FC’s scoring woes of late continued as Louisville’d defense held sturdy, keeping the ball consistently in the home side’s half. Throughout the latter of the match, defender Mandy Freeman did well to stop the brunt of many of Louisville’s attacks by substitute forward Jorian Baucom.
Gotham FC’s best moment came in the 83rd minute when a clear shot on goal by Domi Richardson forced a fingertip save by goalkeeper Michelle Betos.
Looking ahead to Potland, Moros said, “They’re strong, they’ve been playing really well. The match-up is good for us, we do well with challenges. We like the pressure, so it’ll be an exciting opportunity for us to face a formidable opponent with a stacked roster and prove that we belong here.”