NWSL Results: Gotham defeat Chicago

NWSL Results: Gotham defeat Chicago

NJ/NY Gotham FC 2, Chicago Red Stars 1

The Skinny: Gotham got the win at home despite Chicago’s best efforts. Gotham started heavily on the front foot, forcing two impressive saves out of Cassie Miller in the first ten minutes. Chicago had a couple chances but the home team controlled possession for the first half, playing it around and not forcing anything. The breakthrough came in first half stoppage time when Caprice Dydasco found Allie Long in the box, who was able to beautifully volley it over Miller. The Red Stars were only playing with ten players at that point due to an injury to defender Tatumn Milazzo, she was being assessed before making a sub, but that gamble didn’t pay off.

Chicago came out in the second half reenergized by three substitutes, particularly Danielle Colaprico and Makenzy Doniak. They shifted into a 4-4-2 formation with a diamond midfield that allowed them to focus more on attacking, leaving Colaprico as the lone six. For twenty minutes they dominated, constantly causing turnovers and keeping the ball in their attacking half, but they couldn’t capitalize. They paid the price as Midge Purce punished them on the counterattack, driving into the box and winning a penalty kick, which she then converted. After that Gotham controlled the match again, ending with a whopping 62% of possession. There was some late drama in stoppage time when Bianca St. Georges, one of the halftimes subs, was issued a straight red for taking down Brianna Pinto as the last defender. Makenzy Doniak scored a consolation goal in the last minute of stoppage time with a well executed turn and finish, but it was too late. Gotham are now second place in the standings, while Chicago remain in third.

One Key Moment: The assist on this goal from Dydasco was perfectly placed, weighted, and lofted, for Allie Long to get this kind of touch on it. Just take a moment to look at the skill required from Long to drop it just over the keeper and into the back of the net.

Inside the Game: Chicago’s finishing problems returned to haunt them in this game but they are still at a good place on the table and the consolation goal should give them at least some hope. Serious questions remain about their ability to win games without the help of own goals. Gotham meanwhile are having a fantastic season. The midfield of Long, McCall Zerboni and Gaëtane Thiney, bossed the middle of the park, setting up the forwards but most importantly getting open for the backline to keep possession. It isn’t always easy to simply keep the ball but Gotham did it really well because they were patient, not pushing into the attack and losing possession when it wasn’t necessary.

The Goals:

  1. NJ/NY Gotham FC — Allie Long (Caprice Dydasco), 45’+3′
  2. NJ/NY Gotham FC — Margaret Purce, 70′
  3. Chicago Red Stars — Makenzy Doniak (Katie Johnson), 90’+6′