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Summertime shutout: Angel City FC 1, Chicago Red Stars 0

Angel City win a close one at home, putting them right back in the playoff hunt

NWSL: Chicago Red Stars at Angel City FC Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

We are officially in the final stretch of the season. Including tonight's home match, Angel City FC are in single-digit matches left in their inaugural NWSL season, with just nine more matches to collect points. The club sit just five points off the final playoff spot, making the last set of matches must-wins if they want to have any hopes of seeing the postseason in year one.

It was back to the NWSL grind for ACFC, after hosting their first-ever International Friendly at the midweek, beating Tigres UANL 1-0 in the exhibition contest. Tonight however, points were at stake. Angel City opened up the match with plenty of scoring opportunities and racked up the corner-kick attempts. They came close to an opening goal on multiple occasions, with the crowd sending all the atmosphere towards the pitch to help push the players over that line.

The first half ended without a goal as both sides went into the break scoreless, and even. ACFC finished the half with more shots, 11-5, but only had two on target despite several corner kicks threatening goal. What they did really well was keep possession in Chicago’s half of the pitch for most of the first 45, and while they were a bit shaky at times, did well enough to keep the Red Stars from finding the lead themselves.

Angel City wasted zero time in the second half getting their goal to take the lead. In the 49th minute, Savanah McCaskill — who has a knack for being the right place at the right time lately — found herself in the box and in front of goal when a pass came in and found her. She put just enough on it to get it past the keeper for the early-half goal and lead in the match.

Most of the second half was typical of what we’ve seen from this side most of the season. Opting to stay back more to defend, and limit chances taken when looking to break on the attack. Of course, that led to a lot of nervy moments, and lots of chances at goal for Chicago Red Stars. Luckily, the visitors weren't able to find the equalizer, and Angel City was able to hold on to the tough 1-0 win at home, putting them firmly back into the race for a playoff spot. The team are back on the road next week to face off in the second match against KC Current, having won the first meeting at home back in May.

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