Jun Endo receives elated teammates, after assisting in the first goal of the match for Angel City FC Friday at Banc of California Stadium. The score came in the third minute of the new NWSL team’s first-ever regular season game, in front of a sellout crowd. (Rafu Shimpo/Jun Nagata)

By MIKEY HIRANO CULROSS, Rafu Sports Editor

Anyone who doubts Los Angeles is firmly a soc­cer town need look no further than the inaugural regular season match for Angel City Football Club on Friday.

The new expansion team in the National Women’s Soccer League sold out the cavernous Banc of Cali­fornia Statium – also home to LAFC of Major League Soccer – and wasted no time putting a charge into the game and their fans.

Endo’s strike in the 10th minute eluded goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland for Angel City’s sec­ond goal, sending the home crowd into a frenzy. (Rafu Shimpo/Jun Nagata)

Forward Jun Endo rifled a cross from the corner into the box for defender Vanessa Gilles, who headed in the first goal of ACFC’s 2-1 win over the visiting North Carolina Courage.

In the 10th minute, Endo received a pass on the left side, streaked up the wing and sliced through three defenders to bounce a shot past the keeper for what proved to be the winning sccore.

“The great support of many fans has helped us a lot,” she said on the field, after being named the Player of the Match. “I hope you will continue to support the team to win.”

Endo has become an instant star with fans, who turned out in force to see California’s first women’s pro soccer team in a decade. (Rafu Shimpo/Jun Nagata)

Last year, ACFC signed the 21-year-old Endo, who was a member of Japan’s Olympic and World Cup squads.

The game itself is an achievement after more than a decade without women’s professional soccer in California.Angel City FC announced its entry into NWSL two years ago, with its majority female ownership, including Serena Williams, Billy Jean King, Candace Parker, Mia Hamm, Natalie Portman, Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Garner and Eva Longoria.

Endo waves to the crowd after being named the Player of the Match. (Rafu Shimpo/Jun Nagata)

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  1. Love Jun Endo. She gives us 110%. Come join us at ACFC down at the Banc. She’s amazing.