Angel City FC wasn’t happy after a 1-0 physical loss to OL Reign on Friday night at Seattle’s Lumen Field. “It was a tough game,” said Freya Kumbe, ACFC head coach. “I think the team is frustrated and frustrated with some of the key moments that could have potentially changed the course of the game.”
“I think in the second half we did well with the possession of the ball and applied constant pressure. Unfortunately, I don’t think we did enough in the last third to challenge them and give them problems.”
ACFC had a few minutes after the start of the match. But the Reign scored the only goal of the game in the 31st minute after a misfire due to a number of great chances as they constantly put pressure on them in the first half. Angel City were slightly unlucky to concede when defender Ali Riley attempted to deflect a pass from midfielder Rein Angelina towards goal. The run went straight into the foot of Reign forward Bethany Balser, who instantly hit the net.
“That ball was not easy to handle,” said ACFC goalkeeper DeeDee Haracic. “We were just a little unlucky. Unfortunately, this is part of the game. You get lucky and some is lost, but that’s part of the game. After that we regrouped. we. I thought the second half was much better. We’re just going to use it for the next game.”
Haracic was once again in top form, diving to make several saves from 10 OL shots in the first half, most of which were dangerous in the box. ACFC dodged a bullet when defender Madison Hammond deflected a rebound from Reign midfielder Veronica Lacko that hit the post in the 40th minute. Angel City lost three of the five results that ended 1-0.
Clarisse Le Bihan was an early replacement for striker Simone Charlie, who was injured a minute after Rein scored a first-half goal. Le Bihan was instrumental in linking up with midfielder Savannah McCaskill for several dangerous attacks in the second half. McCaskill took Le Bihan’s pass in the 54th minute, maneuvered towards the net and nearly missed the post. Both teamed up again in the 64th minute, but OL goalkeeper Fallon Tallis-Joyce turned them down.
“Losing Simone Charlie early in the game was a big change for another striker who couldn’t play. I think Savannah did a good job when she was replaced,” Coombe said. “Ultimately, we need to be more determined in our forward passes. We have to be able to play differently and stretch the opponent a little more.”
Coombe noticed that when Angel City doesn’t move the ball fast enough, it allows the opposition to apply pressure and hold ACFC in their defensive third, resulting in turnovers. The team still lacked the final serve to the penalty area to get the desired result. Physical fitness and fatigue were factors exacerbated by Angel City’s compressed schedule over the past few weeks.
“I don’t think we’re going to give 100 percent every game,” Haracic said. “… but we bounced back in the second half. We have to start putting things away. The scoreboard is what matters. I just want to win. You want to come out of here with the league, it’s big.”
Despite second-half control and possession times ranging from 55.2% to 44.8%, Angel City landed just six shots in the game, with three on goal. The best chance came in the 70th minute when midfielder Kari Roccaro received a perfect pass from striker Paige Nielsen. But Roccaro’s header, aimed at the center of the gate, was easily repelled by Tallis-Joyce. Ultimately, despite seven minutes of stoppage time at the end with Reign defending on their heels, Angel City failed to equalize.
Coombe: “Today they definitely continued to show their resilience and their character. I thought we were unlucky that we didn’t get something out of this game. I thought Reign was just holding on at the end.”
After a two-week international hiatus from the regular season schedule, NWSL ACFC will return to Banc of California to host the Portland Thorns on Friday, July 1 at 7:30 pm. In the club’s first game of the regular season, they lost. 3-0 to the Thorns at Providence Park, Portland on June 3. Over the eight weeks of the schedule, Angel City (4-4-1) is tied for fifth place with Reign (3-2-4), each with 13 points. points.
San Diego Wave (5-2-3) remains in first place with 18 points, followed by Portland (4-1-4) and Chicago Red Stars (4-1-4) with 16 points. . Houston Dash (4-2-3, 15 points) in fourth place, Washington Spirit (1-3-6), Gotham (3-4-0), Racing Louisville (2-4- 3), and Kansas City Current (2-4-3) tied for seventh place with nine points each. Close the standings Orlando Pride (2-5-2, 8 points) and North Carolina Courage (2-4-1, 7 points).
“We are disappointed,” Haracic said. “We know how good we are. Teams should be afraid of us. All I know is that we don’t like to lose. We want to win.