Angel City is now undefeated in 11 matches under interim head coach Becki Tweed. However, they leave Chicago on Sunday feeling like they could have had more in a 2-2 draw with the Chicago Red Stars.
Angel City entered the match in eighth place, two points behind a playoff position, meaning they could have moved into it with a win. But after drawing the match, they remained in eighth place, gaining one point on the sixth-place Washington Spirit.
The match against the Red Stars was an up-and-down battle. Angel City opened scoring 39 minutes into the match when defender Ali Riley scored on a second-chance opportunity after a corner kick. She fired the ball into the back of the net on her goal, leaving little chance for the Red Stars to stop her shot.
“It was about creating a little bit of chaos and, of course, putting the big gun in there,” Riley said.
Later, 68 minutes into the game, Red Stars forward Ava Cook equalized for the Red Stars with a shot in traffic. But Angel City responded quickly, 70 minutes into the game, as forward Claire Emslie played a well-placed ball to forward Jun Endo, who scored.
Unfortunately for Angel City, 75 minutes into the game, the Red Stars equalized again when forward Cheyna Matthews scored, tying the match at two goals each. Both of the Red Stars’ goal scorers were substitutes.
Angel City had a chance in the final moments of the game as Alyssa Thompson dribbled through multiple defenders and found midfielder Madison Hammond open in the box. However, Red Stars goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher stopped Hammond’s shot.
“We obviously are disappointed to come away with a point after being up twice,” said head coach Becki Tweed. “There’s spaces that we can learn and grow from, and I think this is a result that, although we’re disappointed, we need to move forward from it, and we need to look at what’s next for us.
Amandine Henry made her first start for Angel City after first appearing for them against the Kansas City Current on Sept. 1. While she is still building her fitness, she played 56 minutes, completing 20-of-26 passes and winning all three of her ground duels, according to FotMob.
Henry will join France during the upcoming international break before returning for Angel City’s next match.
“That was a step in the right direction for her [Henry] tonight,” Tweed said. “Coming off the bench in Kansas and now getting her first start for the club and in this game, and she’ll continue to push forward. She’s going on the international break now, and she’ll just continue to work through fitness and getting up to 90 minutes.”
Defender Sarah Gorden returned to Chicago for the first time since playing for the Red Stars in 2021. She spent six years with the club after growing up in Elk Grove, Illinois. However, her performance was not one to rave about.
Gorden won two-of-six ground duels and committed two fouls, one for a yellow card 47 minutes into the match, according to FotMob. On a positive note, she made four recoveries, one clearance, and drew two fouls.
Next, Angel City plays the Orlando Pride on Oct. 2. Angel City has three matches remaining to secure a playoff position, including the match against the Pride.