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Match Recap: Angel City 2, Utah Royals 1 | 5.3.24


Angel City Football Club (ACFC) earned its third win in the last four matches and second on the road in a 2-1 victory over the Utah Royals FC with goals from forwards Sydney Leroux and Claire Emslie. Royals midfielder Dana Foederer scored the only goal for the home club. 

The first match in NWSL history between ACFC and the Royals got off to an intense start, as they were both able to create opportunities, but were unable to convert due to relentless defense on both ends. In the seventh minute, forward Ally Sentnor of the Royals sent a darting ball from right outside the middle of the box, but was deflected by ACFC goalkeeper DiDi Haračić, who made two key saves in the first 10 minutes of the match. The other coming from another on-target shot  by Royals midfielder Amandine Henry, who tried to chip in from point blank range. 

On the other hand, ACFC was able to possess the ball 65.6 percent over the opening 15 minutes of the match. In the 29th minute, forward Alyssa Thompson attacked the left side of the pitch in the Royals’ final third, getting position in the box before lobbing the perfect pass to Leroux, who finished with an impressive header to give Angel City the 1-0 lead. 

ACFC would keep momentum moving forward in the 38th minute when forward Alyssa Thompson forced a foul in the box, giving forward Emslie leverage to notch her third consecutive goal in the last three matches and second penalty kick of the season, shooting the ball in the right upper 90 of the goal. Emslie is also second in the NWSL Golden Boot race behind Portland Thorns Sophia Smith. 

ACFC’s defense would hold on to the 2-0 lead heading into halftime, stopping the Royals from scoring a first-half goal, which they’ve done in five of their seven games this season. 

The Royals entered the second half with a vengeance. Foederer was able to put them on the board after Sentnor shot an accurate pass in the box, giving Foederer the perfect opportunity to nail the shot and cut the lead down to 2-1 in the 56th minute. 

Haračić would continue motivating ACFC’s defensive efforts with two clutch saves, stretching out to grab what could’ve been the equalizer with on target shots from both Sentnor and Henry. 

ACFC was able to create another opportunity after rookie defender Gisele Thompson forced a corner kick in the 90th minute, but the club could not convert. Defensively, Angel City was able to hold off the Royals with grit and determination after seven minutes of stoppage time was added to the clock to seal the victory. 

Angel City returns to BMO Stadium next week, facing the Houston Dash on Sunday, May 12, at 4:30 p.m. Pacific. The match will stream live on NWSL+ and air on Bally Sports SoCal. 

Watch match highlights