It looked as if Los Angeles Football Club was in control of the match early, but things got a little dicey in the end as the Black-and-Gold held on for a 3-2 U.S. Open Cup win over Portland Timbers Wednesday night.
Here are our five takeaways from Wednesday’s Cup win:
Marco Ureña hits home
I have to say, this was nice to see. It has been tough to watch Ureña go this long without finding the back of the net.
But, in the 51st minute, Urena blasted home Jordan Harvey’s mis-hit to rack up his first goal of the season. And it was a big one, as it turned out to be the game winner.
Tyler Miller comes up big again
Say what you will about Tyler Miller, but the guy is a true shot-stopper.
From start to finish, Miller kept LAFC in the game with monster stops, like this:
Week in and week out, Miller has proven his worth between the pipes.
Carlos Vela back in the groove
Despite being absent for several weeks helping the Mexican national team advance to the round of 16 of the 2018 World Cup, Carlos Vela appears to have picked up where he left off.
Which is good to see, especially considering what LAFC added while he was gone.
Carlos Vela was Man of the Match in #LAFCvPOR:— Jason Foster (@JogaBonito_USA) July 19, 2018
3 chances created
25/32 (78%) passing
4/8 long balls
9/15 duels won
5 fouls won
Cross led to OG, scored 2nd goal, explosive long dribbling runs, won free kicks. #USOC2018 #LAFC #MEX #VoteVela pic.twitter.com/iGvhO1aVJK
There might have been a worry about Vela reacclimating to the team after his trip to Russia, but it appears those worries may have been a bit unfounded.
A goal and an assist are good ways to silence those fears.
Consistency on defense
Once again, we saw LAFC let a team get back after they were presumably down for the count.
This lack of late intensity is concerning, especially considering we have seen it before.
Julio Cascante pulls one back for #PTFC right before half-time, heading in the free kick service from David Guzmán. Tyler Miller was caught in no-man's land, and #LAFC's lead is cut to 2-1.#LAFCvPOR #USOC2018 #RCTID #MLS pic.twitter.com/V1r5GX9lTs— Jason Foster (@JogaBonito_USA) July 19, 2018
The Black-and-Gold defense has to do a better job keeping their foot on the proverbial pedal late in the game. It is hard to lay blame on Miller for the above goal since two Portland players were left virtually unmarked in the area.
The second goal in the 53rd minute, LAFC was more a casualty of good skill as three players collapsed on Dairon Asprilla and failed to mark Vytautas Andriuškevičius, who drilled home the goal.
But #PTFC respond immediately to keep it only a 1 goal game! Vytas with the finish after good work by Asprilla, as #LAFC failed to clear their lines. This game is the exact opposite of Sunday's scoreless draw! 3-2.#LAFCvPOR #USOC2018 #RCTID #USOpenCup pic.twitter.com/OhVikArRo6— Jason Foster (@JogaBonito_USA) July 19, 2018
But, despite Asprilla’s footwork, when on defense you have to have situational awareness to know where everyone is in the area.
Despite LAFC holding a two-goal advantage for parts of the game, this was a pretty fairly matched contest.
Both teams matched on pass accuracy and possession. The most concerning stat to look at is shots on goal.
#LAFCvPOR 3-2 | #USOC2018 Quarterfinal— Jason Foster (@JogaBonito_USA) July 19, 2018
81%-80% pass accuracy
6-6 shots on target
45-56 duels won
Very open and entertaining game. #LAFC #RCTID #USOpenCup pic.twitter.com/qBIDVHgsRy
LAFC had 22 shots on goal, but only six on target compared to 12 shots with six on target for Portland. The Black-and-Gold have to become more efficient with their shots if they hope to have further success in the Cup and MLS play.
What do you think? Post your comment below!