NY/NJ Gotham FC fall to Portland Thorns in 2021 Challenge Cup rematch

Credit: Howard Smith / ISI / Getty

NY/NJ Gotham FC were unable to make a comeback on Sunday, falling 1-0 to the Portland Thorns. The Thorns finally broke their two game losng streak and they now hold third place in the NWSL rankings. 

Weather conditions were not ideal for the Sunday match in Harrison, New Jersey, where both teams played in heavy rain and chilly weather.   

With her first goal for the Thorns, Crystal Dunn rocketed a shot from the top of the box at the 56th minute to help win the match for Portland. 

In a scoreless first half, both teams attempted to break past the opponents final third. The Portland Thorns undoubtedly created chances, but were unable to find the back of the net. Similarly, a Gotham FC attack struggled to break past a tough Portland defense. 

Sophia Smith had a header in the third minute of the match, but Gotham FC goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan denied Smith the goal with a diving save. 

It was not the only save Sheridan would go on to make. Multiple shots by the Thorns in the first half kept Sheridan on her toes, but with some impressive saves, she was able to keep the game 0-0 by the end of the first 45 minutes. 

Following the tumultuous officiating situation during the Houston Dash and Washington Spirit game on May 26, all eyes were on those officiating this match as well. Red Bull Arena stadium received some laughs at the start of the match, playing the Law and Order theme song as the referees were announced.

Yellow cards were issued to Portland’s Meghan Klingenberg and Rocky Rodriguez, as well as Gotham’s Carli Lloyd and Caprice Dydasco. 

Putting pressure on Sheriden in the 62 minute and dispossessing her of the ball, Smith had an opportunity to make the game 2-0. Smith, however, missed the open goal, keeping the game at 1-0. 

“Unfortunate,” said Gotham FC head coach Freya Coombe, but they will look to “create more clear cut chances” in the next match. 

“I think we did better as the game went on and we were able to put together some of the movements that we wanted to see as a club which is good,” said Coombe. “Unfortunately, we just couldn’t find the back of the net.” 

Gotham FC will appear at home again on June 5th against the OL Reign. 

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