Angel City’s first win sends Washington Spirit to Challenge Cup semis

Christen Press scored Angel City’s lone goal against the Thorns. (Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images)

Angel City FC earned the club’s first franchise win Sunday, downing the Portland Thorns 1-0 in the final match of Challenge Cup group play.

Portland’s loss eliminated the Thorns from contention. Instead, the Washington Spirit advance to the tournament semifinals as the top second-place team among the three groups.

The Thorns faced a substantial challenge heading into the match, entering the contest without coach Rhian Wilkinson and players Sam Coffey, Meaghan Nally, Taylor Porter, Sophia Smith and Hina Sugita due to COVID-19 protocol.

Angel City started on the front foot, with Christen Press converting from the spot to put her side up 1-0 in the 29th minute.

The lone goal was enough to hold off the Thorns for the remainder of the match, securing the Los-Angeles-based expansion club its first-ever victory.