Gotham FC falls, 4-0, to San Diego on the road

NJ/NY Gotham FC played away against the San Diego Wave, marking the first match between these two teams. The game saw a struggling away side while the home team controlled the game in all areas. Gotham hoped to recreate that after a 3-0 win last week on the road but ultimately fell to the new expansion team.

Gotham's starting eleven remained the same as the last game, with Ashlyn Harris in goal and Kristie Mewis holding down the midfield. San Diego had a stacked starting eleven with former Gotham goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan getting the start and the duo of Alex Morgan and Jodie Taylor leading the front line.

Gotham got off to a strong start when Margaret Purce created a pair of opportunities in the opening 10 minutes. Purce was able to slip through, finding space just 36 seconds into the match. A goal kick in the eighth minute gave Purce another opportunity running down the left side, but the ball was easily deflected away to keep the score even.

Both teams were evenly matched up with opportunities; however, no one could get on the board until the 46th minute of play. The Wave was awarded a penalty kick, and Alex Morgan hit it to the back of the net, sending San Diego up 1-0 going into the half. 

Coming back for the second half, San Diego quickly controlled the match, getting a corner and then a shot on goal quickly after. In the 63rd minute, Gotham changed out Kristie Mewis for Cam Tucker, who immediately got a shot on goal, but it was deflected away. Head Coach Scott Parkinson spoke after the match, saying Kristie had a bit of a calf issue and they wanted to see if Ifeoma Onumonu could drop a bit lower into more of a false nine or ten role.

Gotham tried to get a goal, but a second penalty kick was earned for the away side as control went thoroughly to San Diego. Alex Morgan took the penalty, scoring that one with ease yet again. Morgan made it a hat trick in the 70th minute with a solid play to knock the ball away from a Gotham FC's Mccall Zerboni, which allowed her to put one home. She later added her fourth of the match in the final minute of play. Morgan's four goals made her just the third player in NWSL history to record four goals in a contest.

Paige Monaghan, the Budweiser Player of the Match, spoke after the match. "San Diego is a great team. They have great players. They had a great game plan and it worked for them tonight. In the beginning, we were playing our plan and we didn't put our chances away."

"Have to give a lot of credit to San Diego," Parkinson added. "They were brilliant with what they do. On the first goal, we didn't quite do enough to prevent it. And then it was a big game (for San Diego) and a big crowd for their home opener and it gave them momentum."

What's Up Next for NJ/NY Gotham FC

On Saturday, Gotham FC comes back to Red Bull Arena for their regular-season home opener against North Carolina Courage. The game kicks off at 7 p.m. ET and will be available in the US on Paramount+ and internationally on Twitch. You can purchase tickets here.

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