Gotham FC still has a chance to reach the playoffs. (Photo courtesy of Gotham FC)
ORLANDO, Fla. – NJ/NY Gotham FC scored the first three goals as it held off a late rally by the Orlando pride to register a 3-2 win in National Women’s Soccer Leagaue action at Exploria Stadium Saturday night.
Gaëtane Thiney paced Gotham with a brace as the team moved into fifth place.
The New Jersey side (7-5-8, 29 points) is in fifth place, trailing the Washington Spirit (8-7-6, 30) by a point with three matches remaining in the regular season. Eighth-place Orlando (28) dropped to 7-7-7.
In the third minute, Caprice Dydasco laid the ball towards Thiney, who unleashed a strike from outside the box that found the back of the net.
In the sixth minute, players from both sides paused to come together and lock arms at midfield for the second consecutive game in a show of solidarity.
Following the pause, Gotham FC and its high press controlled most of the half, with multiple chances coming from a potent counterattack led by Carli Lloyd. Goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan was called upon to make a couple of saves, but the Gotham FC back line smothered most of Orlando’s attempts.
Two minutes into the second half, Thiney powered home a free kick for a 2-0 lead.
The visitors made it 3-0 in the 50th minute ending with a Margaret Purce goal off an Ifeoma Onumonu assist.
Orlando broke through in the 83rd minute, as Erika Tymrak scored a goal off the hands of Sheridan to make it 3-1. The pace of the match then turned frenetic, as a foul committed by Estelle Johnson led to a penalty kick. Marta converted from the spot in the 89th to make it 3-2, but it would prove to not be enough.
Gotham FC will continue its playoff push next week aggainst the North Carolina Courage next Sunday.