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Gotham FC grab win with two stoppage-time goals

The Goths were the better team but needed the late-minute heroics to defeat Orlando Pride.

Midge Purce's converted her penalty in 90 + 10' | Gotham FC

It doesn’t get left much later than that.

Gotham FC picked up its second win of the NWSL season with a pair of goals deep into stoppage to top the Orlando Pride 2-0. Goals from Midge Purce and Lynn Willians set records and secured three points for the Goths.

“It’s a game where the team slowly showed our football and also our winning mentality,” head coach Juan Carlos Amorós said. “Every team wants to have a winning mentality but it’s about the attitude until the end, the commitment to the end, the belief in the gameplan, the commitment to believe in themselves. The team did a masterclass on how to play after going one-nil up in the last few minutes of a game.”

Game Stats

Gotham FC: 15 shots, 4 on goal, 61.9% possession, 201 passes, 66.2% accuracy, 5 fouls

Orlando Pride: 6 shots, 1 on goal, 38.1% possession, 127 passes, 53.5% accuracy, 3 fouls

Though regulation went scoreless both sides were on the doorstep throughout the first ninety minutes. Abby Smith was equal to a pair of shots from legendary forward Marta en route to her second clean sheet in three games. Jenna Nighswonger was called to stop Messiah Bright’s run that beat three Gotham defenders just before a shot a few yards from goal. 

Sinead Farrelly was denied her first goal for Gotham FC when Pride defender Caitlin Cosme blocked her shot toward an empty goal. Long-range but dangerous efforts from Kelley O’Hara and Purce forced tough stops out of Pride goalkeeper Kaylie Collins.

Gotham eventually earned a penalty kick two minutes into second-half stoppage time when a VAR check deemed Pride defender Cosme used her arm to block McCall Zerboni’s header following a corner kick. Purce stepped up to take the ensuing spot kick and sent it into the top right corner.

“We play for moments like this. I want to be a big moment player for my team. I want people to trust me and depend on me in those moments.” Purce said postgame. She started the game on the bench due to a small knock to her leg, giving the chance for Ifeoma Onumonu to make her first appearance of the year.

Nine minutes of initial stoppage time and a lengthy VAR review left the visitors with some work to do to secure a win. They made the most of it and added a second through Williams. 

The USWNT forward got on the end of a well-placed ball from Purce and instead of heading to the corner flag like moments previous, Williams charged towards goal. A pair of touches got her past Pride defender Megan Montefusco before slotting the ball into the bottom right corner.

It marked the 59th league goal in William’s career, tying her with Christine Sinclair for second-most in NWSL history.

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“Lynn already is en route to get a lot of records and we will help her on that and the same with Midge,” Amorós added. “They’ve both been brilliant and I’m happy for them, the team is happy for them. They get the highlights and the headlines for the goals but their work on and off the field has been unbelievable and the fact that they’ve been scoring and making the difference is brilliant.”

The result returns Gotham to winning ways after falling to OL Reign before the international break. They’ll look to carry the momentum into a pair of games at Red Bull Arena this week, starting with the Challenge Cup opener on Wednesday against the Washington Spirit.

Gotham, Midge Purce 90 + 10′
Gotham, Lynn Williams 90 + 17′