ACFC Defender Sarah Gorden (11) made 11 recoveries against Bay FC (Jevone Moore/L.A. Sentinel)

A strong defensive effort by Bay FC would aid them to win their inaugural game, defeating Angel City FC 1-0. A shot by forward Asisat Oshoala during the 17th minute gave Bay FC their first-ever goal.

Oshoala signed with Bay FC after playing for FC Barcelona; she helped the club win two UEFA Women’s League Titles. Oshoala also competes for the Nigerian national team and is the first Nigerian player to score in three consecutive World Cups.

“We recognized the moment and sometimes you just take one opportunity to win a game, which was exactly what happened,” Oshoala said. “It was something that gave us the confidence that helped us until the end of the game today.”

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ACFC defender Sarah Gorden, a fan of watching film, noted how difficult it was to find film on Oshoala. It is her first season in the NWSL. Gorden took it in stride.

Bay FC forward Asisat Oshoala had 33 touches against ACFC (Jevone Moore/L.A. Sentinel)

“I think it was nice going in with more question marks and not knowing what to expect, then you can get out of your frontal lobe,” Gorden said. “She’s an incredible player, it was really enjoyable to go against her.”

This season, Gorden has been named vice captain of the squad. ACFC head coach Becki Tweed noted how her tandem with defender Paige Nielsen makes their back line competitive.

“When you have a player like [Gorden] who was able to defend the space behind her, in front of her really well, it’s really hard to break us down,” Tweed said. “Her relationship with the backline goalkeepers is something that’s really important.”

Angel City made nine shots on target with Bay FC goalkeeper Lysianne Proulx making eight saves. Four Bay FC players made at least one block during the matchup.

FIFA referee Alyssa Nichols graduated from Jackson State University and is a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority (Jevone Moore/L.A. Sentinel)

“We knew that they were going to be fast and they were gonna try and find that in behind and finding those crosses,” Proulx said.  “I tried and prevented those crosses or be in the right positions as we dropped line.”

Angel City intensified their attack during the final third, creating challenges for Bay FC.

“It took us way too long to get into the game,” Tweed said. “But I do think you saw glimpses of what’s to come in the second half,”

Despite the loss, ACFC possessed the ball for 59 percent of the game. In the final third, ACFC had 142 passes compared to the 91 Bay FC made in the same time frame.

“We knew they were gonna have the ball a lot of times,” Oshoala said. “[Proulx], she’s my MVP … she gives us the confidence, the people up front giving the midfield and defense line confidence as well.”

Angel City FC will travel to battle the Orlando Pride on March 22 at 5:00P.M.