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RECAP: Houston Suprise Gotham with 2-0 Win

by Anthony J. Merced

HARRISON, NJ - Gotham FC suffer a surprise loss to the Houston Dash 2-0 at Red Bull Arena on Sunday night, a loss that will keep them from claiming first place in the league and adds pressure with an impending round trip to Portland next week. Despite controlling the game for large stretching, Gotham was unable to break down the staunch Dash defense. To their credit, Houston capitalized on their opportunities to push themselves into seventh place.

Gotham started strong in the first half, despite leaving players like Esther Gonzalez out of the starting line-up. Houston was willing to cede possession to the home team, packing their half with players and looking to spring forward on the counter attack. Gotham's largest enemy was their own mental mistakes. The first came just before the halftime whistle. A clearance found Nichelle Prince at the top of the box who floated a ball past a sleeping backline and see Michelle Alozie in on net. The Nigerian striker buried the chance, flipping the narrative of the game heading into the second half.

Head coach Juan Carlos Amoros acted quickly by bringing Gonzalez into the game. While it did create dynamic moments in the attacking third, Gotham still couldn't find clean opportunities at goal. Houston also continued to slow the game down and pressure for more mistakes. Another one came in the 67th minute when a turnover saw Alozie split the Gotham defense and chip goalkeeper Amanda Haught from long distance.

It wasn't until the 90th minute that Gotham was able to find the back of the net on a corner kick header by Midge Purce. However video review called the goal offside, setting the stage for a chaotic 10 minutes of stoppage time. Gotham earned a penalty well into stoppage but Jenna Nighswonger's attempt was thwarted by the post.

The game ended in frustration for Gotham who had not lost since August 19th against San Diego Wave and only their third loss all season at Red Bull Arena. Gotham will need to quickly rebound as they venture to Portland to play the Thorns next Saturday.


Gotham FC: Haught; Edmonds (84' O'Hara), Lopez, Krieger, Nighswonger, Sheehan (71' Ryan), Martin (62' Bruninha), Farrelly (84' Onumonu), Williams-Purce, Stengel (45' Gonzalez), Williams

Houston Dash: Campbell; Puntigam, Jacobs, Lind, Dydasco, Schmidt, Alves (65' Anderson), Viggiano (65' Hirst), Morales, Alozie (89' Gareis), Prince (80' Olivieri)

45' (Houston Dash) Michelle Alozie assisted by Nichelle Prince
67' (Houston Dash) Michelle Alozie assisted by Maria Sanchez

48' (Gotham FC) Midge Purce - YELLOW CARD
54' (Gotham FC) Sinead Farrelly - YELLOW CARD
68' (Gotham FC) Amanda Haught - YELLOW CARD


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