Thorns to play for NWSL title

Long's overtime goal caps rally from down two goals



Kansas City's Becky Sauerbrunn, center, is unable to head the ball past Portland goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc, left, as Portland's Marian Dougherty helps to defend during Saturday's playoff game. Portland won 3-2 in overtime.

Allie Long scored the game-winning goal in the 103rd minute as Portland Thorns FC erased a two-goal deficit for a 3-2 overtime victory over FC Kansas City in a National Women’s Soccer League playoff semifinal match Saturday in Overland Park, Kan.

Tobin Heath and Tiffany Weimer also scored for Portland, which will face Western New York for the NWSL championship on Aug. 31 in Rochester, N.Y.

The Flash defeated SkyBlue FC 2-0 in Saturday’s other semifinal. The title match would have been played at Jeld-Wen Field had Sky Blue won Saturday.

NWSL Rookie of the Year Erika Tymrak and Melissa Henderson scored goals in the first half as FC Kansas City took a 2-0 lead before 4,016 fans at Shawnee Mission District Stadium.

Heath put the Thorns on the scoreboard in the 33rd minute to make it 2-1 at halftime, then — nine minutes after entering the game as a substitute — Weimer tallied in the 65th minute for the equalizer.

Karina LeBlanc tied her season high with 10 saves in goal for the Thorns, who won after trailing at halftime for the first time after going 0-4-1 in such situations during the season.

With two minutes remaining in the first half of overtime, Weimer threaded a through ball into space near the top of the box for Long.

The midfielder fired a quick shot from nearly 18 yards out that beat FC Kansas City goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart low inside the far left post, giving the Thorns a lead entering the final 15 minutes of overtime. The score held up.

Thorns FC finished the semifinal match with a 21-14 advantage in shots, including a 12-10 edge in shots on goal.

Portland won for the first time in three games this season at FC Kansas City.