NJ/NY Gotham FC played Washington’s Ghost to a tie to stay at the top of the table, but the table is crowded with three teams that have won five each. International stars like Kerolin, Quinn, Diana Ordóñez and Yuki Nagasato shone this week as they helped their clubs win.
Washington, Gotham play to a 1-1 tie
Gotham drew a disappointing 1-1 with the Spirit on Sunday afternoon in Washington. After controlling the match from the first whistle, Bruninha brought the visitors to the board early, scoring a goal into the top 90.
In the 55th minute, Yazmeen Ryan thought she had found Gotham’s second goal, but after a VAR review, the goal was disallowed due to Nealy Martin’s handball in pre-season. Was handball clear and obvious enough for it to be the right decision? I’m not so sure, but nonetheless, the game resumed with Gotham’s narrow one-goal advantage.
Despite having the lion’s share of the ball and shots, Gotham was unable to find the other. Instead, it was Spirit midfielder Paige Metayer who excited the hosts with an equalizer in the 70th minute, all against the flow of the game.
OL Reign dominates ACFC with a 4-1 win
Angel City started Saturday with an advantage against OL Reign when Claire Emslie buried a rare Olimpico up front to put her team ahead.
But despite losing early, Reign were determined to bounce back from losing two in a row.
Elyse Bennett managed to equalize just before half-time, while Veronica Latsko’s second-half goal and Quinn’s fourth goal gave Reign a dominant win and a coveted three points.
With an impressive season-best 25 shots (11 on target), it was a game for Reign, with positives all over the pitch. Megan Rapinoe continued her winning streak as she headed for the World Cup with three assists while Bennett scored her first goal in a Reign jersey. The Canadian fans were happy to see Quinn back on the pitch – and he scored no less – as they were rebuilding fitness after recovering from an early-season injury. With the pairing of Latsko, OL Reign now has four players with three goals in a season, a testament to the quality and depth of their squad.
As for Angel City, there are still doubts about Julie Ertz’ form ahead of the World Cup as she was again unavailable on Saturday with a left thigh injury.
Chicago excludes Orlando
Chicago returned to the win column on Saturday as they managed to sneak a 1-0 home win over the dominant Orlando Pride.
After an uncertain series of games, Red Stars goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher played without a doubt her best game of the season. She was forced to make six critical saves, which surpassed Ashlyn Harris and entered the record books as the goaltender with the most saves in the NWSL regular season.
Interestingly, the Red Stars had only two shots on goal in the entire match (including none in the second half), and one hit the net. Yuki Nagasato’s header in the 22nd minute – aided by a beautiful cross from Casey Short – was the difference of the day.
North Carolina extends its unbeaten streak to five games
Kerolin was outstanding in North Carolina’s 2-1 win over Louisville on Saturday. Her goal, which turned out to be decisive, was something beautiful.
Jordan Baggett managed to pull one goal back for Louisville minutes before the final whistle, but the Courage managed to hold on. That’s five straight games for North Carolina (three wins and two draws).
San Diego and Portland score late in an exciting 1-1 draw
The San Diego Wave and the Portland Thorns continued their tight matchup pattern with a 1-1 draw on Friday. Both sides expected late goals when Sofia Jakobsson opened the scoring for Wave in the 86th minute, but a disappointed Wave lost the equalizer in the 90th minute to Thorns defender Reyna Reyes.
Corrector Taylor Vincent went long for the draw:
Houston concedes Kansas City their fourth straight loss
The Kansas City fight continues.
The Houston Dash came to town and eliminated the hosts 2-0 on Friday, extending Current’s losing streak to four. The worrying thing is that Current have conceded a lot of goals in these four defeats, while they themselves are pointless in three.
As for Dash, Saturday’s win is a welcome return to form after last week’s heavy home loss to Portland. They put pressure around the break – both before and after the break – to deserve the win.
Their first goal in particular was quite good as Michelle Alozie sent a beautiful curved pass to María Sánchez who then found Diana Ordóñez in the box with a small pass. Ordóñez spun around her defender and – falling – managed to beat Cassie Miller with the ball in the back of the net. A defeat and a victory for the Red Stars saw Current fall to last place in the table with a difference of -9 goals.