It’s funny how LA sports work sometimes. Despite this being only their second year as a club that exists on this planet, there was a sense of, finally this team is seeing a postseason. More so than expected, tonight is a happy surprise for Angel City FC, a team that just a few months ago was hovering around the bottom of the standings. Now, the team are on the road against the OL Reign in what is the biggest match of their short history, making their NWSL Playoffs debut. For the team that has been playing playoff soccer for the better part of a month, this is just another match, or so they hope.
— Angel City FC (@weareangelcity) October 21, 2023
The first half was very much a feeling out process for both sides. There was a total of five shots combined in the first half, with Angel City seeing three of them. OL Reign did have one of their two find the target, but both sides went into the half even and scoreless. If you had to pick one, ACFC definitely had the better half overall, maintaining most of the possession and doing well to limit the looks OL had. For the fans, the vibes tonight so far have been the complete opposite of what Decision Day was. Perhaps it was the nerves, the moment, or the lack of wanting to risk too much too soon. Now, there are just 45 minutes left for someone to find the winner.
The second half was all Seattle to start, with the Reign taking full control of the match. The home side was able to find plenty of opportunities, doubling their shot attempts by the 65th minute, hitting the target three times. Luckily for LA, they were able to withstand the early pressure and began to settle into the second half a bit better. Then, the Reign brought on sub number one, midfielder, Rose Lavelle, who had been out since September with injury.
The score was still stuck at zero for both teams going into the 80th minute, as it looked more and more like we were about to enter extra time. Essentially, a 30-minute Overtime, and if it remained even, penalty kicks. However, there was still ten minutes plus stoppage time for either side to find a winner.
Unfortunately, the experience of OL Reign shown through as they finally kicked down the door after spending an entire half knocking. Angelina Anderson did an excellent job on the original attempt to put on a great save, but Latsko was there to follow it up for the home side and got it past the keeper for what looked to be the winner.
The hosts go in front late at Lumen Field! pic.twitter.com/KxlgtQOCTg
— National Women’s Soccer League (@NWSL) October 21, 2023
The goal would indeed end up as the winner for the Reign, as Angel City couldn’t find the equalizer despite several efforts late. The loss ends what has been a truly magical finish to the season for a team that many had written off in the summer. In the coming weeks there will be questions about the next coach, takes on the match tonight, and how the team moves forward, but those can wait. For now, we will simply say congratulations and thank you to Angel City for what has been an amazing sophomore season. 2024 should be even more special.
Thoughts on the playoff run for Angel City? Leave a comment below!