Angel City lost control of its playoff destiny in a loss to Louisville.

Angel City lost control of its playoff destiny in a loss to Louisville.

Angel City FC Sunday began with his destiny in his hands. At the end of the day, that slipped through his fingers and now the team needs help The first NWSL season It is extended beyond the end of next week.

What happened in between was a 3-1 loss to Racing Louisville that turned the Angel City from hope to despair with one game left in the regular season.

“It’s in the past. “We can’t do anything about it,” said the midfielder. Savannah McCaskill“Obviously we would have liked to come out of this game tonight with a win and still in control,” said Angel City’s lone goal scorer. But we still have work to do.

That work is hitting the Chicago Red Stars next Sunday — and cheering. Historic rival San Diego to win against North Carolina on Friday.

of The top six teams in the 12-team NWSL It qualified for the playoffs and Angel City is eighth, two places and two points below the playoff line. To win it, the team will need to overcome both North Carolina’s loss and its own win.

“I think it’s possible,” McCaskill said. “I think this is the only time we can make San Diego.”

If Angel City simply ran a business, most of this wouldn’t matter. Instead, they won just one of their last five games and have not recorded a winning streak since May, and conceded seven points on goals scored in the 82nd minute and beyond.

“It was difficult considering some of the late goals we conceded,” coach Freya Coombe said. “But at the same time, I feel like it’s a process that we have to go through as a team and learn because now we know what’s expected of us. We know how good we can be if we meet the criteria. If we meet that criteria, we know what will happen and what the outcome will be.

“I don’t think we came out and played our best football in the first half and we got penalized.”

In the 14th minute, Combe’s side, who played for the fifth time in two weeks, saw a right-footed shot from across the face of the goal and a shot past McCaskill in the middle.

The ball bounced off McCaskill, hit the left post and bounced past Louisville keeper Katie Lund across the far goal line.

Louisville, who is playing without leading goalie Nadia Nadeem, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee, followed three unanswered goals last week, each on an Angel City error.

The first came in the 37th minute when Kirsten Davies buried a cross from the left wing following a deep turnover in the Angel City end. Five minutes later, Angel City’s Paige Nielsen picked off Louisville’s Lauren Milliet in the box and Alex Chidiak converted.

Then, as Angel City tried to equalize in the final minute of the game, Louisville’s Emina Ekic deflected a left-footed shot over the outstretched arm of Angel City keeper Didi Haradic. The three goals are Haradic’s most in one game this season.

“Whenever a goal is scored, there is usually a mistake. That’s how the ball goes into the back of the net,” Combe said. “We made mistakes on both ends of the field tonight. And that was expensive again. “

However, regardless of the game, Angel City’s first season was a success. The team announced Sunday’s attendance at 22,000, its fourth sellout in 11 home days, making Angel City the second NWSL team to average more than 19,000. And the team will make even more history if it reaches the postseason, as only one expansion team in history has done that.

That team was the San Diego Wave, who secured their playoff berth Sunday.

“We showed we deserve to be a play-off team,” Combe said. “I’d rather be in the driver’s seat, controlling destiny. But now he has come to the state of California to help each other. I’m not sure if the rivalry will last that long, but we’ll see,” he said.


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