On Saturday evening, NJ/NY Gotham FC welcomed the Washington Spirit to Red Bull Arena. The NWSL team was the second match of the day for the professional tri-state area soccer teams. After a lackluster Hudson River Derby, the women's team looked to give the local fans a much more entertaining match.
Additionally, World Cup winner Esther González made her home debut for the club after signing her contract last month. She lined up at the top with Lynn Williams and Midge Purce, creating a threatening attack. It took some time, but Gotham FC beat Washington 2-0.
Esther González was the hero in Gotham's win
At first, Gotham and the Spirit had a back-and-forth affair. There was very little offense between the two in the first half. But the first 45 minutes were full of changes with possession and the running up and down the pitch. Similar to their MLS neighbors, a goal would not arrive. The difference though was the game was exciting and full of action.
It was also a brilliant defensive display from both teams. Blocks and tackles limited the ladies from goal-scoring opportunities. When there was a chance to score, consolidated backlines caused poor chances on goal.
At least, that was the case until the 65th minute. Washington gave up the ball in their defensive third. This led to chaos of passes and shot attempts. It was González who put Gotham up in front. The ball fell to the Spaniard, and no one was marking her. She took her shot and sent the ball into the back right corner of the goal.
The striker was not done yet. González scored again about five minutes later. It started with Mandy Haught's pass from the box into the midfield. It took only a couple of passes for the ball to fall to the forward. She controlled the ball in the box and easily swept the ball into the back of the net.
Meanwhile, Gotham FC's defense continued to do the work to guarantee a clean sheet. The high level did not dissipate as it sometimes does when a team has the lead. So, at the final whistle, the 2-0 win was secured.
As a result, Gotham sits in third place in the standings. The team is level on points with the San Diego Wave and sits below them due to goal differential. Then, the Portland Thorns sit at the top of the table. They continue to force the West Coast teams to look over their shoulders.
Next, NJ/NY Gotham FC will host another home fixture after the international break. They will welcome the Houston Dash on Sunday, October 1.