Goals four minutes apart in the second half lifted FC Kansas City to a 2-1 win over the Portland Thorns on Wednesday, halting a four-game winning streak for Portland.
Sydney Leroux scored the winner with a header from near the penalty spot in the 69th minute of the National Women's Soccer League match at Kansas City.
But the match changed in the 65th minute when Yael Averbuch scored on a free kick from 20 yards on Kansas City's first shot on goal of the match.
Until then — Becca Moros was fouled by Ashleigh Sykes near the left side of the penalty area to earn the free kick — the Thorns had the lead and seemed to be controlling the match with their possession.
Amandine Henry converted a penalty kick for Portland in the 44th minute after Christine Sinclair was brought down inside the penalty area by Moros.
The loss prevented Portland from putting more distance between itself and third-place Chicago, which lost to Seattle on Wednesday.
At 9-5-4, the Thorns have 31 points and trail first-place North Carolina by five points. Portland returns home to play Houston at 7 p.m. Saturday at Providence Park.
FC Kansas City improved to 5-8-5 with its second win in a row and sits in eighth place with 20 points.
The match was delayed for more than two hours because of severe weather around Children's Victory Field in Kansas City, Missouri. Attendance was reported as 428 for a game that started wfter 9 p.m. Central Time.
Leroux's winning header came off a cross from Brittany Ratcliffe, who dribbled toward the left side of the penalty area and sent a cross to the open Leroux for a sharp header that beat Portland goalkeeper Adrianna Franch.
The Thorns had a chance to double their lead in the 48th minute, but FCKC goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart stopped a shot from Dagny Brynjarsdottir off of a takeaway.
Portland had more possession in the first half, but Kansas City was dangerous. Shots by Leroux and Lo'Eau Labonta went inches wide of each post and in first-half stoppage time a close-range header from Brittany Taylor went just high.