Megan Rapinoe’s two late penalty kicks doomed Gotham FC. (Outfoxed Media Photo)
NJ/NY Gotham FC could not hold a two-goal lead in the second half and suffered a discouraging 3-2 loss to OL Reign at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, Wash. Saturday night.
U.S. women’s national team standout Megan Rapinoe converted two penalty kicks in the final 13 minutes to doom Gotham. Rapinoe also set up Reign’s first goal in its comeback.
Gotham FC (5-3-6, 21 points), which lost its first road match of the season, dropped to fourth place in the National Women’s Soccer League while Reign (7-7-1, 22) leaped past the New Jersey side into third place.
League-leading goal-scorer Ifeoma Onumonu (seven goals) struck twice in the opening 15 minutes to give the visitors a two-goal lead.
OL Reign outshot Gotham FC, 27-7, including 14-4 in the second half.
In the ninth minute, Elizabeth Eddy sent in a cross for Carli Lloyd that found the feet of Onumonu on a deflection. She buried the shot in the roof of the net to give Gotham FC for a 1-0 edge. Six minutes later, Nahomi Kawasumi, who made her 100th NWSL regular appearance, connected with Onumonu. The Gotham FC forward ran into the box and slipped the ball far post for a 2-0 lead. Prior to this season, Onumonu had only scored two regular-season goals since joining the league in 2017.
Gotham FC nearly scored a third goal to open the second half from a Lloyd header that was denied by the woodwork.
In the 57th minute, OL Reign cut the deficit in half on Rapinoe’s corner kick that found the head of Kristen McNabb.
In the 77th minute, Allie Long fouled Sofia Huerta inside the box that was awarded a penalty kick. Rapinoe converted the equalizer.
A minute into stoppage time, Nahomi Lewandowski made a hard challenge on Rapinoe that earned a second penalty for the home team. Rapinoe converted again to lift OL Reign to the win.