Los Angeles Football Club had to play from behind on Friday, but a well-timed and long weather delay gave them a chance to regroup and defeat the Houston Dynamo 4-2 at Banc of California Stadium.
The opening half hour of the game was rather dull, with LAFC controlling the run of play but doing almost nothing with it. In fact, the Dynamo took advantage of the skies opening and a downpour taking place. Mauro Manotas opened the scoring in the 36th minute, as LAFC failed multiple times in quick succession to adequately clear the ball out of their box, and the Colombian pounced on a small pass from Boniek Garcia to smash it in the net.
LAFC looked like LA drivers in the rain with that goal, and three minutes later, they got a reprieve as the game was stopped due to lightning in the area. The delay dragged on, lasting an hour and 44 minutes in total, but it gave LAFC time to regroup and they took advantage.
Just before halftime, Carlos Vela drew a penalty on Dynamo goalkeeper Tyler Deric, and stepped up to score the spot kick to make it 1-1.
Following a halftime break (we know!) LAFC completed the comeback, as they took the lead in the 53rd minute, with Vela sending a cross in that was turned in by Adama Diomande. It’s the second goal the duo has connected on in league play this year, and Diomande’s third goal in two games, both of which bode well for the playoffs.
From there, LAFC added to their lead, as Walker Zimmerman continued his strong run of form, scoring with his foot from a corner kick by Vela in the 58th minute to make it 3-1. It was the center back’s fourth goal in four games.
Vela turned on the wow factor with his second strike of the night, as he casually chipped Deric with a ball that trickled out to him near the top of the box, in the 78th minute, to make it 4-1.
LAFC nearly made it nervy late, as Dynamo substitute Andrew Wenger scored in the 80th minute, but with a two-goal advantage the black-and-gold made sure they would get the win and so they did on this night.
All in all, it was a weird game. Strangely, LAFC and Houston had a long weather delay in their first meeting, so it just seems like a thing these teams do at this point. But LAFC were able to get over the hump and beat the Dynamo, who had their moments but couldn’t really string together enough chances to outlast LAFC’s potent attack, especially with Vela in outstanding form, as he notched two goals and two assists on the night.
LAFC get a little over a week off before their next game, a week from Sunday against Vancouver Whitecaps FC. We’ll have to see how FC Dallas do this weekend in their game, as well as what Sporting Kansas City does in their game midweek, but the win from the black-and-gold offers a chance of moving up the standings and potentially into the top two seeds to get a Knockout Round bye. We’ll see.
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