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Gotham FC beat Orlando Pride, win first game of 2022

A lethal strike from Midge Purce saves team’s NWSL Challenge Cup campaign

SOCCER: MAR 30 NWSL Challenge Cup - NJ/NY Gotham FC at Orlando Pride
Is this the year of Midge Purce?
Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Gotham FC grabbed a 1-0 away win against the Orlando Pride in an exciting game with many scoring chances. The Gotham squad felt more settled than they did in their first two games of the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup, and looked to be the more dangerous of the two sides.

When Midge Purce found the back of the net in the 86th minute she not only scored Gotham’s first goal from open play this year, she basically saved the tam’s chances of advancing to the next round. Good thing U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Vlatko Andonovski called her up to the national team camp in April.

Game Stats

Gotham FC: 14 shots, 3 on goal, 45% possession, 395 passes, 77% pass accuracy

Orlando Pride: 23 shots, 2 on goal, 55% possession, 457 passes, 80% pass accuracy

It was a quiet first half, despite the constant scoring chances for both teams. Paige Monohan and Kristie Mewis ran the midfield for Gotham, while goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris locked out her former team and kept the game tied at 0-0 going to halftime.

Gotham head coach Scott Parkinson went for it in the 71st minute when he brought on forward Kumi Yokoyama. Took ’em long enough. In the 86th minute, substitute Elisabeth Charlotte Jean released Margaret Purce with a long pass that the 26-year-old forward cooly finished despite being charged by Orlando goalkeeper Anna Moorhouse.

Orlandofai were the better side on paper, but it was Gotham’s best showing this year. The midfield moved the ball well, and the defense closed out an Orlando attack that lacked cohesion. Gotham might have over-performed their xG and Orlando under-performed theirs, but it was a r result.

This was Gotham’s third straight game on the road. They will have their home opener on Sunday, April 3rd, at 3:00 pm ET when they host North Carolina Courage at Red Bull Arena.