Gotham FC goalkeeper DiDi Haracic was player of the match. (Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports)
PORTLAND, Ore. – NJ/NY Gotham FC did not score, but still came home with a point after playing the Portland Thorns to a 0-0 tie in a National Women’s Soccer League game at Providence Park Sunday.
Sixth-place Gotham FC (3-1-4, 13 points) extended its unbeaten streak to five games while third-place Portland (166) moved to 5-3-1.
Goalkeeper DiDi Haracic, named the player of the match earned the shutout, her second of the season. She made four saves.
“For us it was the traditional cliche of a game of two halves, “Gotham FC head coach Freya Coombe said. “We struggled a little bit under Portland’s pressure in the first half and weren’t able to really keep the ball, but definitely improved in the second half. We were able to possess, move it, and create better chances. Overall, we felt a bit hard done by not really being able to come out with a result towards the end after putting a lot of pressure, but probably a fair result overall.”
The first half was a physical battle. The Thorns forced two big saves from goalkeeper DiDi Haracic (four saves) that required extra help, once from Ifeoma Onumonu and from Estelle Johnson as they made clearances off the goal line to deny Portland two goals.
The opening minutes of the final half saw an early chance for the Thorns. Forward Morgan Weaver took a strike from the top of the box that seemed destined for the back of the net, but was stopped by the woodwork. In the closing minutes of regulation, Onumonu nearly scored her fourth goal of the regular season on a near post header that just clipped the post.
Gotham FC’s defense once again proved to be resilient against an attack that outshot the visitors, 22-10. Johnson played an integral part of the backline’s success, finishing with eight clearances, two interceptions, and four blocks. In the 65th minute, she reached 10,000 regular season minutes, a milestone achieved by 17 players (14 field players).