NWSL: Bay FC secure debut win over Angel City FC

Bay FC starting XI players pose for a team photo
Bay FC starting XI players pose for a team photo before play against Angel City FC at BMO Stadium on March 17, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

In the final fixture of game-week one of the new NWSL season, Angel City played host to Bay FC in a historical California derby debut.

Bay FC would look to get a win in their first-ever game against a club that played their very first game just two years ago. The San Jose-based side handed debuts to numerous big names, such as Asisat Oshoala and Deyna Castellanos. The debutantes aim to stamp themselves as title contenders after a noisy transfer window.

Starting XIs

Angel City

Anderson; Vignola, Nielsen, Riley (Mathias, 78’), Gorden, Dougherty-Howard (Hammond, 78’), Henry, Fuller (Johnson, 90’), Thompson (Thompson, 83’), Leroux, Emslie (Bright, 83’)

Bay FC

Proulx; King (Picket, 83’), Menges, Sharples, Dydasco, Anderson, Loera (Malonson, 84’), Castellanos (Bailey, 67’), Boade, Oshoala, Camberos (Hill, 67’)

Player of the match: Lysianne Proulx

First half

The first half burst into life after just five minutes. An errant pass ricocheted into the path of Claire Emslie just inside the 18-yard box. The Scottish international saw her volley saved by Proulx before an almighty goalmouth scramble broke out.

Angel City continued to dominate the ball but eventually made a costly mistake in possession. Tess Boade seized on a loose pass by Mary Vignola before releasing Oshoala inside the box. The Nigerian international finished expertly into the top right corner. Her debut goal stands in the history books as the very first goal for Bay FC.

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Megan Dougherty-Howard had a good effort saved by the outstanding Proulx five minutes before half time and Bay held on to lead 1–0 going into the break.

Second half

The second 45 saw a siege of the Bay goal. Once again, a Dougherty-Howard low effort was stopped by Proulx. The Canadian then made a huge double save from the resultant corner to deny Angel City debutant Kennedy Fuller.

Bay created their first chance since their goal on the 60-minute mark. Boade smartly evaded a tackle before an alert Angelina Anderson came off her line to make the save.

Another barrage soon came from Angel City. Sydney Leroux forced a save from Proulx before Alyssa Thompson blazed the rebound over the bar with the goal gaping.

Leroux was again denied by a combination of Proulx and a goal-line clearance. Vignola rattled the crossbar with the last kick of the game, and Bay held on to their maiden three points.

A monumental win for Bay FC

Having secured California bragging rights with this victory, Albertin Montoya’s side will look to build more momentum. They travel to the capital to take on Washington Spirit in gameweek two. Meanwhile, Angel City will look to bounce back on the East Coast as they face a tough test against Orlando Pride.

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