NJ/NY Gotham FC returned to the field on Sunday, April 30, to face the Kansas City Current at Children's Mercy Park, which saw the Jersey team lose 2-0 after a Debinha brace. Gotham now sits in fifth place in the standings with nine points.
“In the first half, we applied the game plan, had opportunities to take the lead and defended well, but in the second half, [the Current] were more effective and goals change games,” said Gotham FC Head Coach Juan Carlos Amorós. “The good thing in this moment is that we have an opportunity to get a victory in three days. We will always look at the positive side.”
Gotham came out with a fiery offense to start the game. Lynn Williams and Taylor Smith had chances on net, but the Current's strong defense stopped their attempts. Around 22 minutes in, Gotham's goalkeeper Abby Smith made a huge save to keep Kansas City off the board. Newly acquired Swedish international Mimmi Larsson received the ball from over the top and attempted to hit the one-time volley, but luckily for the away side, Smith parried the ball to the right of the net to keep the score even at zero. Both teams had good looks on frame as the clock ticked to halftime. The teams went into the break, tied 0-0.
See you in NC 🔜 pic.twitter.com/4seCBBfZUM
— NJ/NY Gotham FC (@GothamFC) May 1, 2023
“Kansas City came out strong and you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do,” Smith said at halftime after keeping the Current off the scoresheet.
Once the second half began, Gotham almost scored the first goal. Yazmeen Ryan attempted to take a shot, but it was deflected into the path of Williams. Williams' initial shot was saved by Kansas City's goalkeeper Cassie Miller, and when Williams went for the final tap-in, the ball rolled just wide of the frame.
In the 57th minute, Kansas City took the lead. Lo’eau LaBonta sent the ball through to Debinha who dribbled all the way to the box and shot the ball low toward the far post giving the Current a 1-0 lead. Four minutes later, Debinha was at it again. Smith ran out of her box to stop Michelle Cooper's attack, but the goalkeeper was no match for the rookie and ashe easily dirbbled around her and sent the ball into the box. Gotham tried to make a denfensive effort to clear it, but Debinha was in the right place to just send it home giving the Current a 2-0 lead. Gotham tried to make a push for the last 20 minutes, but they weren't able to capitalize. The Jersey team lost 2-0.
— KC Current (@thekccurrent) May 1, 2023
Smith finished with five total saves and Miller had three.
“We need to be better defensively and to take advantage of our chances in the offensive end,” said Gotham FC captain and defender Ali Krieger, who was named the Gotham FC Player of the Match presented by CarMax. “We will learn from the little defensive mistakes we made in the game. We will come back together, just as we have all this season.”
What's Next for NJ/NY Gotham FC?
Gotham returns to the pitch on Wednesday, May 3, for their second match in the UKG Challenge Cup against the North Carolina Courage in Cary, North Carolina. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Paramount+.