ORLANDO, Fla. – Midge Purce scored in the 86th minute to lift NJ/Gotham FC a 1-0 victory over the Orlando Pride in the NWSL Challenge Cup on Wednesday night.

The win moved Gotham (1-1-1, 4 points) into second place in the East.

“We’re still not near where we want to be, but we showed a bit of resilience, showed some fight and defended set pieces and crosses well,” head coach Scott Parkinson said. “Excited to go home with three points and get back to New Jersey for a month.”

Ellie Jean set up the tally with a chip feed to Purce down the middle. With goalkeeper Anna Moorhouse charging, the USWNT player buried the chance in the open net.

The first half saw Gotham get off to a strong start before Orlando made some adjustments and generated more scoring chances in the latter part of the frame.

Gotham came up with the first quality chance when Caprice Dydasco slipped a nifty pass to Ifeoma Onumonu, who took a step in from the 18 and blasted a shot that went to the right in the sixth minute. Nahomi Kawasumi set up another good look in the 16th minute with a fine through ball to Paige Monaghan, who dribbled to the left side of the box for a strike that missed the wide on the far post.

Orlando was held without a shot until the 19th minute, but Sydney Leroux used her speed to apply some pressure on the Gotham back line to generate some momentum for the Pride. Leroux took a long clear and forced keeper Ashlyn Harris to make a stop in the center of the goal.

In the 25th minute, a free kick led to a header chance by Gunnhildur Jónsdóttir that sailed high. Orlando nearly broke the deadlock in stoppage time. Gotham had possession in the final third, but one too many passes led to a turnover. Leroux was fed the ball on the clear and streaked down the middle for a shot that Harris deflected to set up a corner kick.

Gotham defended well to begin the second half despite a push from Orlando until Gotham responded with three close calls.

Purce worked the ball down to the goal line and centered a pass to Mewis who’s close-range shot was knocked down by Moorhouse in the 58th minute. Kristie Mewis was in the mix again in the 63rd minute, using her body to fend off a defender and get a prime chance, but her left-footed flick missed the mark. Minutes later, a nice turn upfield left Monaghan one-on-one with Moorhouse. Monaghan found the sweet spot, but Moorhouse was up to the task again.

Gotham FC will play its first home match of the Challenge Cup on Sunday against the North Carolina Courage at 3 p.m.