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Real Salt Lake 1, LAFC 5: New boys start history with winning streak

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LAFC show first week wasn’t a fluke.

MLS: Los Angeles FC at Real Salt Lake Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Football Club made it two wins in two games to begin their history, defeating Real Salt Lake 5-1 at Rio Tinto Stadium. It was a game with a crazy first half, complete with goals, questionable refereeing decisions and so much more.

The teams started a tad slowly, but the first goal of the game went against LAFC, as Dejan Jakovic was judged to have fouled Joao Plata in the LAFC box. While contact was minimal, it was admittedly a dangerous play, although the decision is sure to lead to discussion. Plata stepped up to take the PK, and Tyler Miller saved the spot kick. Unfortunately, Plata followed up on the rebound to put RSL ahead in the 20th minute.

From there, LAFC didn’t give up. Diego Rossi scored his second goal in two games in the 30th minute, connecting with Benny Feilhaber and Marcos Urena before hitting a low angled shot in the box to beat Nick Rimando, to make it 1-1.

Three minutes later, the most controversial play of the game happened. LAFC scored the go-ahead goal via Latif Blessing in the 33rd minute, but it turned out two players, Blessing and Steven Beitashour, who set up the goal, were both offside on the play. In spite of referee Baldomero Toledo receiving word on a review on the goal from the VAR, he never formally reviewed the goal and it was upheld. It was a shocking non-call, but LAFC entered the halftime break with the lead.

They padded that lead just after halftime, with Feilhaber scoring his first goal for his new team in the 47th minute, nutmegging Rimando right in front of goal.

From there, LAFC backed off on the attacking pressure and settled in with the lead, and the game slowed down. Still, there were several chances, including two shots off the post from Ureña and Rossi, respectively, and Ureña missing the goal on breakaway chances on two separate occasions. It really can’t be denied that Blessing’s goal should not have stood, but at the same time, LAFC dominated in terms of chances.

The cappers came in the 81st minute as Rossi scored his second goal of the match, set up by Carlos Vela, before Vela notched his first goal in MLS in the 86th minute.

LAFC make history with this game, becoming the first MLS expansion team to win their first two games on the road. The only two expansion teams to win their first two games were the 1998 Chicago Fire, and the 2009 Seattle Sounders. The Sounders started their MLS history with a three-game winning streak, so that’s what LAFC will have to work to match.

Speaking of, LAFC will have a three-week break for the March FIFA break, as is customary, before returning to action on Saturday, March 31 at the LA Galaxy. Ooh, a rivalry game, that’s going to be a very good time.

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