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NJ/NY Gotham FC

How Gotham stymied Courage to claim long-awaited NWSL playoff win

Jaylynn Nash-USA TODAY Sports

A decade into the National Women’s Soccer League’s existence, every surviving team from the inaugural 2013 season can now claim at least one playoff win. This feat was achieved on Sunday night after Gotham got off the schneid with a 2-0 victory over the North Carolina Courage at WakeMed Soccer Park. Here are three quick thoughts from the match.

Gotham smothers 2nd half to ride out the win

This match was a bit of a slog with both teams failing to do much in terms of final passes inside the 18. Even the opening goal might have been an attempt at a cross rather than a shot, but we’ll get to that later. More importantly, the goal came at the stroke of halftime and allowed Gotham to come back for the 2nd half intent on protecting the lead. They did not recede into a shell, but after withstanding an early charge from the home side, settled in to stifle all potential for the Courage to get back into the match.

Every Gotham player contributed defensively, and goalkeeper Mandy Haught kept up her strong run of form and played her typical high line. Haight’s aggressive positioning allowed her to snuff out any balls that snuck over the back four.

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