Nadia Nadim Scores Sixth Minute Strike in 1-1 Road Fixture with Seattle Reign FC
Entering stoppage time on Saturday night, Sky Blue FC (5-7-7, 22 points) was on the verge of handing top-ranked Seattle Reign FC (12-3-4, 40 points) its first loss in two seasons at Memorial Stadium, but late dramatics led to a stoppage time equalizer for the home side.
One minute into stoppage time, Seattle forward Kim Little collected a ball at the left corner of the penalty area, looking up and spotting Jess Fishlock on a run to the far post. Without hesitation, Little chipped a ball forward to her, and Fishlock ran under it before redirecting a header that tipped off the hand of a diving Brittany Cameron and into the net. The score leveled this match-up at one goal apiece, and that final score line would stand when the final whistle was blown.
“It is disappointing to not get the result that the players deserved, but that has been a little bit of an unfortunate theme for us this year,” said Jim Gabarra, Sky Blue FC Technical Director & Head Coach. “We have been playing like one of the best teams in the league as of late, which is how we envisioned this team when the roster was put together. Against a really good Seattle team, we were able to make them chase us, and we created an awful lot of opportunities. Overall, I thought we defended really well and made it difficult for them to penetrate our blocks of eight. While it is disappointing to not get the three points, it is very gratifying to see the way our team has continued to compete this season.”
Sky Blue FC opened the scoring in the sixth minute of this contest, making good on a strike that came after a whistle on Fishlock for tripping up midfielder Katy Freels. The result was a free kick just outside the right corner of the 18-yard-box, where forward Nadia Nadim stepped over the attempt. On the chance, the Danish striker quickly rifled a hard shot into the far side netting that went off the fingertips of a diving Hope Solo. With the tally, the road side claimed an early 1-0 advantage.
After the opening tally, Sky Blue FC settled into its game plan very well and clearly got the better of possession during the first half. The New Jersey club was able to create additional opportunities on the offensive end, but the 1-0 score line remained when the referee whistle closed the book on the opening 45 minutes.
Seattle was able to create more chances for itself in the second half, which required some key plays from Cameron and the Sky Blue FC back line to initially keep their opposition off the scoreboard. Reign FC eventually came within inches of leveling the contest in the 83rd minute, when a Little free kick from 25 yards out hammered the near post. While Sky Blue FC was able to temporarily maintain its advantage, the Little to Fishlock notch in stoppage time would force the New Jersey side to settle for a draw.
With the late equalizer, Seattle remained unbeaten on their home pitch over two consecutive regular seasons.
Sky Blue FC will now close out its 2015 NWSL season on Wednesday, September 2nd, when it hosts FC Kansas City at Yurcak Field for a 7:00 PM contest. Individual and group tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online at tickets.skybluefc.com or by calling 888-SBFC-TIX (888-723-2849).
Sky Blue FC vs. Seattle Reign FC
August 29, 2015 – Moda Pitch at Memorial Stadium
6 SBFC N.Nadim
91 SRFC J.Fishlock (K.Little)
SBFC – Cameron, Rampone, Cutshall, Levin, Foord, O'Hara, Haagsma, Freels (Stanton-75), Killion, Kerr, Nadim
Substitutes Not Used: Bledsoe, Grubka, Gordon, Lytle, Hayes
SRFC: Solo, Barnes, Corsie, Fletcher, Cox, Winters, Fishlock, Little (Bullock-72), Rapinoe, Veje (Reed-80), Mathias (Foxhoven-80)
Substitutes Not Used: Kopmeyer, Cruz, Dallstream, Brooks
62 SBFC H.Haagsma (Yellow Card)
67 SRFC K.Winters (Yellow Card)