The Easter Weekend of action kicked off on ESPN with an afternoon delight that featured the red-hot KC Current, and the always talked about Angel City FC, who were making their first visit to the new NWSL stadium. Angel City are in the middle of their first road trip, playing their second of three away from Los Angeles. The team also come into this one looking for their first win of the season.

KC Current must love playing in that brand new stadium because every time they have, they look like a team that outright refuses to let you come in there and beat them. Today was no different, with KC looking like the better team from the opening whistle. It took them just six minutes to open scoring, with a long pass leaving the LA defense scrambling and unable to recover. Some great composure and passing ended with Vanessa DiBernardo finding the back of the net to give KC the early lead.

That early goal set the tone for the first half, with KC taking full control of the match. Angel City may have held more possession but just based on the flow of thew match, KC was in full control and putting the ACFC defense in a blender in the process. Most of the first half was spent doing their best to keep the Current from adding a second, with several incredible saves from Angelina Anderson, and even a couple of goal line deflections from the defense. KC got off 11 shots in the half, with six finding the target. The pressure was real and all ACFC wanted was to get to halftime down just a goal, and it looked like they would make it.

However as the half was winding down, KC added their second goal of the match. The first goal scorer, DiBernardo, put on an excellent cross that found Alexa Spaanstra just waiting wide-eyed by the back post where she got her head on it for the strike past the line for the two goal lead. Originally the call was offsides, but a trip to VAR ended with the goal rightly being allowed and Angel City going into the halftime break with an even steeper hill to climb.

Angel City FC didn’t make any substitutions coming out for the second half, which was curious, but hard to argue against when they do what they did. In just minutes, ACFC had cut the lead in half courtesy of a great effort from Sydney Leroux. Emslie put a great ball into the box and Leroux was there to smash it through the wickets of the KC keeper to keep Angel City in this match.

That feeling was short lived however, as a defensive error gave KC the two goal lead right back. After a solid first half, Anderson made a bad pass trying to play out the back, that found the opposition with her caught way out of her goal. The Current went on immediate attack and it was Temwa Chawinga who scored her first goal since arriving in the NWSL, giving the home side the two goal cushion once again.

We saw that grit Angel City has talked about all offseason, with the team continuing to fight in this one, and in the 80th minute they pulled back within one. Angel City showed why taking advantage of set piece opportunities is so huge. They were able to get seven corners, and on the seventh it was the rookie defender, Madison Curry, who was able to get on the end of the ball bouncing around in the box, and poke it over the line for her first career goal, and the team’s second of the match. Game on with just ten minutes left to salvage another point on the road.

A point so nice, they went and proved it twice. With another corner kick just minutes later, Another dangerous ball found its way into the box where it bounced a bit between players before the returning Rocky Rodriguez got her foot on it and smashed it top bins for the equalizer late, or so it seemed. While defender Paige Nielsen was down the referee checked VAR who was in its hater era, showing Fuller offside in the build-up, taking away the goal. It remained a goal deficit for the visitors.

KC took advantage of the momentary head hanging, plunging the dagger into Los Angeles in stoppage time. The rough day for Anderson continued, as the keeper punched out the initial effort on goal, but there wasn’t enough on it and it landed right to Bia Zaneratto who pushed the lead back to two, securing the three points for the home side.

The rough day came to an end before KC could add a fifth, despite all their best efforts to do so. Angel City’s tough start to the season continues as the team are still without that first win of 2024. More worrying, is how the team look so unlike the team we saw at the end of 2023. The difference is stark, and the questions are mounting already for a team that many expected more from.

Thoughts on the match? Leave a comment below!

1 Comment

  1. Not sure where the offside call comes from on the tying Angel city goal. The player didn’t touch the ball and she only made an attempt to play it after the defender had touched it, at which time she was in an onside position. Offside is a stupid blanket rule that needs serious updating as we have seen dozens of goals VARed as offside even though the attacking team has received zero material advantage from having a player in The offside position (see Sophia smith’s goal
    Last weekend)

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