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Open for business: Angel City FC 2, North Carolina Courage 1

Two goals, three points for Angel City in inaugural home match

North Carolina Courage v Angel City FC Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images

NWSL has arrived in Los Angeles, or rather, Los Angeles has arrived to the NWSL. The inaugural home match for expansion side Angel City FC was as hype as you would expect, and then some. After an off-season that saw over 15k season tickets sold before a ball was kicked, ACFC were set to officially open the Banc of California Stadium with an expected sellout of over 20k and was it ever a sellout crowd for the ages. They went home happy too, having witnessed history, and a 2-1 win for the home side.

As is custom for any premiere in Los Angeles, today was just as much an event as it was a prelude to a soccer match. From an all-day fan fest, concert with marching band, and a fire new intro, it was everything LA is known for. More on that stuff in a few days, for now, let's talk about the match!

It didn’t take long before the party carried over into the match with a goal to open up the season. After some great footwork and an excellent pass from Jun Endo, the ball found Vanessa Gilles in the box who knocked it home for the early lead and first goal for Angel City in the NWSL regular season.

Endo continued to make her mark on the match, finding acres of space to run in, eventually getting the ball played to her. Once she got hold of it, it was just a matter of how she wanted to score, and she went across goalkeeper to the opposite post to nestle it in and double the lead for Angel City.

As expected, the initial burst of adrenaline subsided, but the team didn’t take the foot off the gas. While they didn’t get another goal before the end of the half, they defended extremely well and continued to apply pressure in attack. The key for the squad in the second half was maintaining just a bit more of that adrenaline, and seeing out the final 45 minutes strong to come away with the win.

If you thought this was going to be as easy as the first half led on, you are probably new to the chaos that is NWSL. Courage are a good team with a lot of talent, one such talent is Debinha. Shortly into the second half she got on the end of a well-placed pass and pulled one back for the visitors.

Despite being pushed until the very end, Angel City were able to keep the Courage from finding the equalizer and potentially spoiling what was a magical night in Los Angeles. After some rough stretches during the Challenge Cup, ACFC came out tonight to put the entire league on notice. This isn't that same team. The squad we saw tonight had all bite and no bark, what’s really scary is they aren’t even fully healthy yet.

What do you think? Leave a comment below!