Alex Morgan late game strike gives San Diego Wave opening day win
By Alex Windley
Alex Morgan powered the San Diego Wave to their first win of the season with a late goal to blast them past the Chicago Red Stars.
In front of a sellout crowd of 30,854 fans at Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego, California, Morgan’s 89th-minute penalty sealed all three points for the Wave in a hard-fought match. The Red Stars and Wave were evenly matched for the majority of the game, with Chicago having a slight edge in possession with 52% of the ball.
Chicago got on the scoresheet first with a Yuki Nagasato left-footed shot to the top right corner in the 18th minute. But San Diego wouldn’t stay quiet after that, quickly equalizing through an Amirah Ali header from close range in the 22nd minute, then doubling their lead in the 32nd minute with a goal from Jaedyn Shaw in the bottom right corner.
Yet, the Red Stars climbed back into the game with a Mallory Swanson penalty just before halftime.
However, the Wave was far more determined at the end, culminating in Morgan’s penalty in the game's dying minutes. After the victory, Morgan thanked Wave supporters and spoke about their support in getting them the win.
“30,000 in the stands just kept us going. Just to win in our first game, feel good going into the season, there’s no better feeling. Hopefully we get 30,000 fans next game.”
With over 30,000 fans attending the match, the Wave broke the NWSL attendance record, previously set by the Orlando Pride in 2016, with 23,403 fans.
San Diego will continue their NWSL campaign this weekend at home as they take on the North Carolina Courage.