The Kansas City Current earned its second consecutive home win and third straight win across all competitions with a 2-0 victory over NJ/NY Gotham FC. Two goals from midfielder Debinha led the team to a win, breaking Gotham’s two match winning streak.
The visitors nearly took the lead in the 13th minute, when forward Lynn Williams stole the ball from Kansas City defender Croix Soto and charged toward the goal. All three Current defenders collapsed in to force her shot wide.
The ball nearly found the goal on the opposite side of the field just three minutes later. A free kick from midfielder Lo’eau LaBonta allowed Debinha to set up forward Mimmi Larsson at the top of the box. Larsson immediately took the shot, launching a ball over the crossbar.
Gotham goalkeeper Abby Smith was called into action several times in the first half, and she came in clutch for Gotham under an onslaught of Current attempts. In the 30th minute, forward Cece Kizer found herself one-on-one with the keeper, who charged off her line and slid to capture the ball.
At halftime, forward Michelle Cooper entered the match and had a chance at goal just five minutes in. Kizer slipped a ball past the Gotham backline to find the rookie right in front of the net. Smith managed to get a hand on it to deny Cooper’s goal.
“We wanted to keep the pressure in the attacking half and that was what we talked about at halftime to keep more pressure,” explained interim head coach Caroline Sjöblom about her halftime adjustments. “So when the center back gets the ball like Ali Krieger drives up with the ball we can put much more pressure and can red players from left to right and win the turnover in the transition so that was kind of the plan in halftime.”
In the 54th minute, a pass from Gotham midfielder Yazmeen Ryan deflected off a Current defender to fall right into the path of Gotham’s Williams. Goalkeeper Cassie Miller made herself big to block the shot and preserve her second straight regular season clean sheet.
The Current broke the stalemate in the 57th minute, when Debinha charged down the left flank to find a pass from LaBonta bouncing in. She charged past the Gotham defense and slid the ball past a diving Smith for her third goal of the season.
The forward wasn’t satisfied with one. Just four minutes later, forward Michelle Cooper drew Smith way off her line, near the right corner flag. Cooper tapped the ball around Smith and crossed the ball in toward Cece Kizer. The forward’s shot was blocked by a Gotham defender, but Debinha pounced on the rebound to knock it into the open net.
Debinha became the first player to score a brace in club history after midfielder Cece Kizer had a goal rescored as an own goal in the Challenge Cup match against Houston.
The Kansas City Current returns to action next weekend as the team travels to Los Angeles to face Angel City FC on May 7. Season tickets, flex plans and single match tickets are available for all home matches at Children’s Mercy Park. For pricing and information, visit kansascitycurrent.com.
NWSL Match Report
Match: Kansas City Current vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC
Date: April 30, 2023
Venue: Children’s Mercy Park, Kansas City, KS
Kickoff: 5:07 p.m. CT
Weather: 60 degrees, partly cloudy
20’ Gotham – Ali Krieger (Yellow)
47’ Gotham – Yazmeen Ryan (Yellow)
81’ Kansas City – Izzy Rodriguez (Yellow)
57’ Kansas City – Debinha (LaBonta)
61’ Kansas City – Debinha
Kansas City Current Lineup: Miller, Robinson, Soto, Merrick, Mace, LaBonta ©, DiBernardo, Del Fava, Kizer (77’ Rodriguez), Larsson (45’ Cooper), Debinha (90+3’ Curran)
Subs not used: Childers, Winebrenner, Franch, Silkowitz, Spaanstra
NJ/NY Gotham FC Lineup: Smith, Edmonds, Jean (64’ Nighswonger), Krieger ©, Bruninha (64’ Kelley O’Hara), Mewis, Long, Zerboni (86’ Farrelly), Smith (64’ Onumonu), Williams, Ryan (75’ Gudmundsdóttir)
Subs not used: Haught, Freeman, Martin, Sheehan