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5 takeaways from LAFC’s 3-2 win over Sacramento Republic FC

They had to sweat it out, but they got the win.

MLS: U.S. Open Cup-Los Angeles FC vs Sacramento Republic FC Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Tense moments surrounded Banc of California Stadium and it wasn’t until the 89th minute when Latif Blessing finally pushed Los Angeles Football Club through to the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals with a 3-2 win over USL side Sacramento Republic FC.

Here are five takeaways from last night’s Open Cup win:

MLS: U.S. Open Cup-Los Angeles FC vs Sacramento Republic FC Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Struggling to finish

LAFC had 21 chances at goal but failed to connect. This presents a major problem for Bob Bradley’s squad. It means the absence of Carlos Vela is definitely noticeable as he leads the Mexican national team in the 2018 World Cup.

The problem here could be a couple of things. LAFC’s attack rushed to take the shot. Through passes weren’t clean enough to provide space and Sacramento’s defense did a sufficient enough job of closing gaps.

MLS: U.S. Open Cup-Los Angeles FC vs Sacramento Republic FC Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Tough to work from behind

This was a position LAFC was in for most of the game. Benny Feilhaber’s goal equalized and Diego Rossi’s goal equalized. In fact, LAFC, while seemingly dominating offensively, never really had a foothold on the game until the very end.

In addition to Vela’s absence, Adama Diomande being out of the 18 was also a likely issue in LAFC struggling to hold the full advantage of the game.

MLS: U.S. Open Cup-Los Angeles FC vs Sacramento Republic FC Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Sacramento is better than people might think

Yes, they might be a USL squad, but you can’t take that for granted. They contained LAFC for a majority of the game and, if not for the equalizer and Blessing’s late winner, would have likely come away with an upset.

Say what you will about the USL, there are some very strong teams in the league. Just look at Louisville City FC — the last USL team standing in the U.S. Open Cup.

MLS: U.S. Open Cup-Los Angeles FC vs Sacramento Republic FC Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Rossi finding his role

He may have started off a little slow in the match, but Rossi is starting to find his role with the team.

From about midway through the first half until the end, Rossi made strong runs into the front third and made every attempt to work his way into Sacramento’s defensive back line.

If he continues to progress at this pace, he will continue to be a force for LAFC in MLS play.

MLS: U.S. Open Cup-Los Angeles FC vs Sacramento Republic FC Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Shoring up the defense

Yes, Sacramento is better than advertised, but LAFC’s defense seemed to play on its heels for a lot of this game.

The fact of the matter is that LAFC seemed to play to the competition rather than play to their level. Moving forward, that will have to change if they have any hopes of being successful in the Open Cup competition.

What do you think? Post your comment below!