A depleted NJ/NY Gotham FC team fell to Chicago Red Stars 2-0 on Sunday evening at SeatGeek Stadium.
Gotham was missing five players after a COVID outbreak and two more due to personal reasons, but the visiting team was on the attack early.
Paige Monaghan was just high off the crossbar in the sixth minute on the first real chance for Gotham FC. Kristie Mewis kicked one just above the crossbars as well in the 17th minute on a set piece, followed by a Taryn Torres shot that sailed over the crossbar in the 19th minute.
Estelle Johnson cleared one out of the box midway through the first half, as Gotham’s defense remained stalwart with a few stops before Chicago Tatumn Milazzo scored in extra time to give the Red Stars a 1-0 lead at the half.
“We’re not playing well enough individually. We have a game plan, and we know what it is and we just aren’t playing well enough individually to execute it,” Johnson said. “I’m not quite sure why. Obviously, that’s something that we’re trying to figure out ourselves. But I just think that together as a team, whether it’s whatever it is, we just need to start playing better individually honestly.”
While Johnson didn’t think she had a great game individually, never liking to give up two goals as a center back, her coach sang her praises.
“Estelle Johnson was unbelievable tonight,” Coach Scott Parkinson said. “She’s a warrior. She knows exactly what it is to compete for this club through the highs and the lows. And she’s had a really tough couple of weeks after coming back from the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations. I’m really pleased with her performance. I thought she was great.”
Michelle Betos made a diving save in the 56th minute before making another diving save while Chicago was in transition in the 63rd minute before Ava Cook scored in the 66th minute for the Red Stars to make it 2-0.
Gotham FC will travel cross-country to take on the OL Reign at Lumen Field. The kickoff is slated for 2 p.m. ET. Fans catch the action live on Paramount+ in the U.S. and Twitch internationally.
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