Nadim scored the game-winner in the 29th minute.
Sky Blue FC Extends Franchise Record Six-Game Winning Streak
Sky Blue FC (1-0-0, 3 points) got its 2015 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) campaign off to an excellent start on Sunday night, defeating 2014 NWSL Champions FC Kansas City (0-1-0, 0 points) on the road at Sporting Park, 1-0. Scoring the tally for Sky Blue FC was forward Nadia Nadim in the 29th minute, with goalkeeper Brittany Cameron having a stellar performance in net to preserve the clean sheet. The win was the sixth consecutive victory for Sky Blue FC dating back to 2014, a new franchise record.
“Winning this game is a huge accomplishment, but we also have to realize that we have a lot to work on,” said Jim Gabarra, Sky Blue FC Technical Director & Head Coach. “Kansas City has a great team. They really had us on the ropes over the first half hour, but we were fortunate to score a goal in the defining moment of the game. That great goal from Nadia really changed the complexion of the game and enabled us to settle down a little bit.”
FC Kansas City created the first opportunity of the match in the 3rd minute when forward Amy Rodriguez was able to find space in the penalty area before feeding distribution to Lauren Holiday, who then turned to find midfielder Erika Tymrak. With a point blank chance in front of her, Tymrak fired on frame, but Cameron was able to punch her attempt away.
Defender Becky Sauerbrunn made a good run for FC Kansas City in the 20th minute, taking a route down the center of the field before setting up Holiday on an overlapping run to her left. Holiday quickly collected and got off a point blank shot, but Cameron was again able to come up with a huge save. The danger was then cleaned up entirely when Sky Blue FC defender Christie Rampone cleared away the loose ball.
Despite the early chances for FC Kansas City, it would be Sky Blue FC who finally broke the deadlock. In the 29th minute, the scoring opportunity started off a throw-in and was eventually knocked over to defender Meg Morris in the middle of the penalty area. Morris then chipped the ball forward where Nadim had space, and the Danish striker quickly rocketed a volley off the bounce that was beyond the reach of FC Kansas City goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart, giving her team a 1-0 advantage.
After regrouping at the intermission, Sky Blue FC did a much improved job of maintaining possession in the second half of play. The New Jersey side did well with knocking the ball around and patiently waiting for opportunities to develop. Continually coming up huge for Sky Blue FC was Cameron, who made point blank saves and played aggressively off her line. The combination of improved confidence on the field backed up by the play of Cameron proved to be just what the New Jersey side needed to preserve their 1-0 advantage throughout the second half, eventually emerging with a critical three points when the final whistle was blown.
“In the second half, we did a much better job with possession,” Gabarra continued. “You really can’t ask for much more of a team than to come into this type of environment against the defending champion, and a team as good as Kansas City, and leave with a clean sheet and the win.”
Sky Blue FC will now return to Yurcak Field on Saturday, April 18th, hosting the Houston Dash in its 2015 home opener at 7:00 PM EST. Individual game and season tickets (10 home games) are on sale now, with season ticket packages starting as low as $12 per game. Make sure you catch all of the world class NWSL action this season at Yurcak Field by calling 888-SBFC-TIX (888-723-2849)!
Sky Blue FC vs. FC Kansas City
April 12, 2015 – Sporting Park
Kansas City, Kansas
Sky Blue FC: 1-0-1
FC Kansas City: 0-0-0
SBFC 29 N.Nadim (M.Morris)
SBFC – B.Cameron, C.Rampone (L.LaBonta-83), K.Grubka, L.Cutshall, C.Levin, M.Morris (K.DeCesare-90), K.Freels, S.Killion, K.O'Hara, N.Nadim, M.Hayes (N.Stanton-90)
Substitutes Not Used: A.Bledsoe
FCKC: N.Barnhart, L.Robinson, R.Moros (S.Groom-65), B.Sauerbrunn, A.LePeilbet, Y.Averbuch, J.Buczkowski, L.Holiday, E.Tymrak (S.Hagen-65), H.O'Reilly, A.Rodriguez
Substitutes Not Used: K.Rowland, L.Bogus, F.Silva, D.Richardson, M.Laddish
SBFC 89 K.O’Hara (Yellow Card)