VIDEO: Former Ferns defender Abby Erceg inspires team into play-off zone

A goal from former Football Fern Abby Erceg has helped her Racing Louisville team to a crucial win in their latest NWSL match.

Sunday’s 2-1 win against league leaders Portland — Racing Louisville’s first-ever victory against them — has lifted Erceg’s side into the top six of the National Women’s Soccer League, and gives them a crack at play-offs football.

Erceg, who played 146 times for New Zealand, scored with a header from a corner kick on the hour mark, bringing Racing level with Portland who had led since the sixth minute.

Main photo: Abby Erceg salutes the crowd after her equaliser against Portland.

Four minutes after Erceg’s goal, Racing took the lead and held it till the final whistle.

“We knew what was on the line,” Erceg said after the game.

“I haven’t seen that from this club yet. Sometimes, we put in really good performances and give up two goals just because we don’t have that grit and we don’t have that fight.”

Erceg said she had urged her teammates before the game to give everything.

“I said to them before we went out, ‘Our season is on the line. How many games do you want to play? It’s up to us.’ They came out and they showed up.

“I haven’t seen us play with that much grit and that much heart,” Erceg said. “You can tell that the girls really wanted it.”

Watch Erceg’s goal

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