In an action-packed final regular season game of the 2021 season, NJ/NY Gotham FC and Racing Louisville FC played to a 1-1 draw at Red Bull Arena on October 31, with goals from Carli Lloyd and CeCe Kizer. With the result, along with other results throughout the league, Gotham FC officially finishes the season at fifth place in the NWSL standings (35 points, 8-5-11) and will appear in the quarterfinal round of the NWSL playoffs next weekend for the first time since 2013.
In a lookalike repeat of the 1-1 draw between Gotham FC and Louisville on Thursday, the Halloween rematch saw Gotham FC take the lead first and Racing work for an equalizer. However, Gotham FC took advantage of ball possession, holding 63% compared to 55% three days ago.
The match started with both teams trying to get into rhythm. The first real breakthrough came in the 11th minute, as Lloyd nearly got off a solid cross from the left Louisville endline, but it was called out-of-bounds. Gotham FC continued to take advantage of space on the left flank, forcing Racing Louisville to make a defensive stand. In the 22rd minute, Ifeoma Onumonu nearly took the lead for Gotham FC off a Caprice Dydasco free kick. Less than a minute later, Lloyd narrowly missed another header. Louisville keeper Katie Lund was forced to make multiple snags as the first half came to a close to keep the match tied at one.
The hosts came out after halftime and immediately resumed the barrage on Racing’s backline. In the 48th minute, Onumonu nearly opened the scoring off a floated cross from Dydasco. Just four minutes later, Gotham FC finally got on the board after an Elizabeth Eddy cross from the left side found Lloyd, who headed it home for a statement goal in her last regular season game. Following the goal Louisville quickly tried to spring a counter, but Kailen Sheridan made multiple stops to keep the lead.
Then in the 67th minute, a cross attempt from Savannah McCaskill deflected off Allie Long’s arm at an awkward angle, causing referee Karen Abt to point to the spot. Kizer finished the PK to even the score at 1-1. The Gotham FC attack searched for the game winner, with shots from So-Dam Lee and Évelyne Viens blocked as time ran out on the match.
Gotham FC will travel to SeatGeek Stadium to take on the fourth seed Chicago Red Stars in the quarterfinal round of the 2021 NWSL playoffs November 7 at 3:00 p.m. EST. The match will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network and Twitch.
Match: Racing Louisville FC vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC
Date: October 31, 2021
Venue: Red Bull Arena, Harrison, N.J.
Kickoff: 3:00 p.m. ET
Weather: Mid 60s; cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
NJ/NY Gotham FC 0 1 1
Racing Louisville 0 1 1
NJY — Carli Lloyd (Elizabeth Eddy) 53’
LOU — CeCe Kizer (PK) 69’
NJY: 19-Elizabeth Eddy, 12-Gina Lewandowski (8-Erica Skrokski, 58’), 3-Caprice Dydasco, 16-Allie Long (11-So-Dam Lee, 79’), 7-McCall Zerboni (6-Jennifer Cudjoe, 58’), 9-Nahomi Kawasumi, 25-Ifeoma Onumonu (4-Paige Monaghan, 58’), 23-Margaret Purce (27-Gaëtane Thiney, 64’), 22-Mandy Freeman, 1-Kailen Sheridan, 10-Carli Lloyd (20-Évelyne Viens, 71’)
Substitutes not used: 13-Didi Haracic, 14-Kenie Wright, 17-Domi Richardson
LOU: 23-Katie Lund, 16-Julia Ashley, 18-Kaleigh Riehl, 4-Gemma Bonner, 11-Emily Fox (14-Nealy Martin, 16’ (3-Erin Simon, 63’)), 2-Lauren Milliet (19-Taylor Otto, 63’), 8-Freja Olofsson, 17-Yuki Nagasato (13-Emina Ekic, 85’), 5-CeCe Kizer, 9-Ebony Salmon (22-Katie McClure, 62’), 7-Savannah McCaskill
Substitutes not used: 12-Sinclaire Miramontez, 20-Cheyna Matthews, 21-Shelby Money, 33-Jorian Baucom
Stats Summary: NJY / LOU
Shots: 15 / 5
Shots on Goal: 2 / 3
Saves: 2 / 1
Corner Kicks: 7 / 2
Fouls: 10 / 11
Offside: 5 / 1
NJY — Margaret Purce (caution) 45+4’
LOU — Ebony Salmon (caution) 55’
NJY — Mandy Freeman (caution) 72’
LOU — Yuki Nagasato (caution) 81’
Referee: Karen Abt
Assistant Referee 1: Brooke Mayo
Assistant Referee 2: Kaitlyn McCormick
4th Official: Rich Grady
Budweiser Player of the Match: Carli Lloyd
About NJ/NY Gotham FC:
Originally named Sky Blue FC, the Club underwent a major rebrand in April 2021 and officially changed its name to NJ/NY Gotham FC. Representing New Jersey and New York, the Club plays its National Women’s Soccer League home matches at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ. The Club has been part of the NWSL since the league launched in 2013. Founded in 2007, Gotham FC originally debuted as Jersey Sky Blue in the W-League of United Soccer Leagues. The Club won its first trophy as Sky Blue FC in 2009 after winning the inaugural Women’s Professional Soccer championship. Most recently, Gotham FC played in the 2021 Challenge Cup Final against the Portland Thorns, the Club’s first ever championship appearance in NWSL competition.