SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Wave Fútbol Club recorded its first victory Saturday, defeating Angel City FC, 4-2, with Alex Morgan scoring twice in the NWSL Challenge Cup group play game at Torero Stadium.
Morgan gave Wave FC the lead for good in the 72nd minute when she took a cross from Christen Westphal and put a shot from about 11 yards out from the center of the penalty area into the bottom right corner of the net, breaking a 2-2 tie.
Rookie forward Amirah Ali added an insurance goal in the 81st minute of the 90-minute game off Isabella Briede’s assist.
Ali controlled Briede’s pass about 10 yards passed the midfield stripe, eluded a potential tackle by ACFC defender Vanessa Gilles about 30 yards from the goal, continued her drive, then put a left-footed shot from about 13 yards out just inside the right goalpost for her first goal as a professional.
Wave FC forward Jodie Taylor opened the scoring in the 19th minute, putting in the rebound of her header which had been saved by ACFC goalkeeper Didi Haracic.
ACFC (0-3-1) tied the score on an own goal in the 38th minute when defender Wave FC defender Tegan McGrady attempted to pass the ball back to goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan, only to have the ball roll into the net.
Wave FC (1-1-1) regained the lead three minutes into first-half stoppage time when ACFC defender was unable to control a loose ball and it went to Morgan, who put a 7-yard shot past Haracic and inside the left goal post.
ACFC retied the score in the 59th minute when Christen Press brought down a cross from Jasmyne Spence between a pair of defenders, set herself up and fired past Sheridan.
Morgan and Press were teammates on the U.S. teams that won the 2015 and 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cups.
Wave FC led 23-11 in shots, 11-6 in shots on goal and 12-2 on corner kicks in front of a crowd announced at 5,158, seven days after Wave FC’s tournament home opener drew a sellout crowd at the 6,000-seat stadium at the University of San Diego. Sheridan made five saves and Haracic seven.
The game was a rematch of the 1-1 tie between the National Women’s Soccer League expansion teams March 19 at Titan Stadium at Cal State Fullerton, the tournament opener for both teams.
“I’m overcome with pride in terms of today’s performance in terms of the fact that we got pegged back twice after going in front and the fact that we dominated the first half and could have gone in deflated,” said Wave FC coach Casey Stoney, whose team will resume play April 14 against OL Reign in Seattle.
“I thought it showed real character. Quality players showed their quality on the pitch. Alex, Jodie and the likes of those, including (forward) Sofia (Jakobsson) caused real problems.”