Gotham FC
Photo by Tim Hadorn - JSN

Gotham FC advance to Women's Cup Colombia Final

NJ/NY Gotham FC advanced to the Women's Cup Colombia final on Tuesday evening. Gotham defeated Deportivo Cali to secure their spot in Friday's final match.

The first half saw Gotham dominate possession throughout the match. The lead-up into the final third area of the pitch was always well done, with Gotham looking to play their game, quick passing, and looking for space. In the final third, however, the Bats had a couple of shots go wide but nothing to test the Cali goalkeeper. The first half would end scoreless.

The second half saw more opportunities for both teams but nothing that would change the scoreline. In the 60th minute, Coach Juan Carlos Amoros made a bold substitution, with veteran Kelley O'Hara coming off for 13-year-old McKenna Whitman, a non-roster invitee. Whitman would score the game-winning goal in the 93rd minute of the match, the assists to the goal coming from Maitane Lopez and Delanie Sheehan.

This was Gotham's first competitive preseason game, which showed in the play. The rust from the offseason and being down seven players to the national team made the game tighter than the Bats would have wanted. They were still on the front foot for most of the match. Maycee Bell, the sole 2024 draftee, picked up the start and showed why she deserved it.

Bell was a big presence in the backline as Cali looked to break on the counter for much of the game. Esther Gonzalez was also her usual self, looking to get into space to receive the ball, and her constant energy was noticeable. Though she did not score, her presence was felt, especially by the Cali defenders.

Gotham now looks to Friday's match against fellow NWSL Racing Louisville FC. Racing Louisville beat America de Cali 2-0 in the tournament's second game, making for an All-American final. The final match will be played on Friday at 8 p.m.