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LAFC earn first win, 1-0 at Sacramento Republic FC

Yeah, it may be the preseason, but a win is a win.

MLS: LAFC Groundbreaking Ceremony Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Despite some defensive mishaps over the course of 90 minutes, a second-half goal by No. 1 SuperDraft pick Joao Moutinho was enough to lift Los Angeles Football Club to its first win in club history, 1-0 at Sacramento Republic FC on Sunday afternoon.

The final preseason game gave head coach Bob Bradley plenty to work on before the season opener March 4 at Seattle Sounders FC.

One bit of concern was an apparent injury to striker and Mexican international Carlos Vela. He appeared to tweak something when battling with a Republic midfielder in the 78th minute.

In the meantime, Moutinho and the Black-and-Gold can celebrate his inaugural goal which came in the 60th minute of the game.

Prior to that, Sacramento Republic FC goalkeeper Josh Cohen was tested almost as soon as the teams came out of the halftime locker room.

In the 52nd minute, a combination of shots from Vela, Marcos Urena and Mark-Anthony Kaye were stonewalled by Cohen and the Republic defense.

Diego Rossi nearly doubled the lead in the 85th minute after breaking free with the ball, but his shot went wide of the net.

LAFC maintained the offensive pressure late in the game, giving Sacramento nearly no chance at making a run.

In the first half, the Republic defense managed to keep the LAFC attack in check by marking and double-teaming Vela, Latif Blessing and Rossi to keep them from creating anything positive.

“We always try and do our homework before games,” said Sacramento head coach Simon Elliot in his post-game interview. “We watch video and see if we can find tendencies. You aren’t going to pick everything up that way but I think we picked up a few bits and pieces.”

In the 30th minute, it was Ureña who had a nice attempt at goal after nice ball-handling from Blessing. Ureña’s shot, however, went wide of the net.

LAFC struggled in the first half with maintaining defensive possession. The team seemingly gave the ball away at least four times in the first half with potentially dangerous consequences. Fortunately, Republic players were unable to capitalize.

For now, however, Bradley and LAFC have six days to work out the kinks before the season opener at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.

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