LAFC’s match against Houston was scheduled to start at 6:00 PM PT, 9 PM ET. A storm rolled in and lightning struck in the vicinity, which delayed the start of the match until 7:38 PM PT, 10:38 PM ET.
When the match did kick off, it did not take long for LAFC to strike first thanks to Adama Diomande and Latif Blessing. In the fifth minute of action, Lee Nguyen fed the ball from the outside of the box to Diomande, who saw Blessing streaking on the flank into the box unmarked, getting behind Adam Lundkvist. Dio fed a great through ball behind Lundkvist to connect with Blessing, who slotted the ball home for LAFC’s early lead.
After the weather delay, Latif Blessing opens the scoring for #LAFC away to the #Dynamo! This time Adama Diomande turns provider, playing a great ball through for Blessing to finish. #HOUvLAFC #MLS pic.twitter.com/nZVqKejJrZ— Jason Foster (@JogaBonito_USA) July 4, 2018
Things got a little heated around the 25th minute. Philippe Senderos banged into Diomande off the ball, and Diomande bent down holding his face. Senderos continued to play, including pushing Dio out of the way to get to a ball. Just two minutes later, Diomande retaliated and clashed into Senderos as he was passing off from a back-pass, leading to Dio getting booked.
Diomande against Senderos is quite a physical battle. Dio was booked for clattering into Senderos, in retaliation for the off-ball cheap shot he took a few minutes earlier. #HOUvLAFC #Dynamo #LAFC #MLS pic.twitter.com/awK975PJr4— Jason Foster (@JogaBonito_USA) July 4, 2018
LAFC then got close to adding another to their lead in the 52nd minute. Benny Feilhaber got the ball from Nguyen running up the middle of the pitch, and laid the ball off to Blessing. Blessing tried to pass off to Diomande, but his pass was intercepted, and deflected back to him. He then tried to pass again to Dio, although he may have been able to slot the ball home, and that pass was also deflected and then cleared.
Too unselfish by Blessing. He was right in front of goal, but tried to set up Diomande instead and the chance was lost. Really need to be ruthless there, especially on the road. #HOUvLAFC #LAFC #Dynamo #MLS pic.twitter.com/sjDQvB82I7— Jason Foster (@JogaBonito_USA) July 4, 2018
Misfortune did strike LAFC in the 61st minute, when Philippe Senderos defended a corner at the cost of Blessing. He came down on Blessing’s left side, and Blessing did not get back up until helped off the pitch with what appeared to be a knee injury and was replaced by Joao Moutinho.
In the 71st minute, the Black-and-Gold doubled their lead with an impressive counter. It started when Tyler Miller came out of his box to clear a through ball with a volley clearance, which Walker Zimmerman then volleyed further up the field. The ball landed at the foot of Mark-Anthony Kaye, who looped the ball around to Diomande. Diomande then sent the ball forward to Kaye, who dribbled the ball past Senderos and kept possession, and slotted the ball home.
#LAFC hit in transition and Mark-Anthony Kaye surges out of midfield to make it 2-0. Diomande gets his 2nd assist of the night. Killer goal, right when the #Dynamo were having their best spell. #HOUvLAFC #MLS pic.twitter.com/iIWTh2iTiz— Jason Foster (@JogaBonito_USA) July 4, 2018
Houston did manage to break through in the final minutes of the game. In the 94th minute, Demarcus Beasley got the ball in his own half of the pitch, and sent a ball all the way downfield to Mauro Manotas. The pass was immaculate, and gave Manotas the chance to dribble around Laurent Ciman and shoot the ball past Tyler Miller.
Mauro Manotas pulls one back for the #Dynamo in the 93rd minute, cutting #LAFC's lead to 2-1. Simple long ball, then Ciman stepped too hard and Manotas blew past him. #HOUvLAFC #MLS pic.twitter.com/OP0zgNo6l3— Jason Foster (@JogaBonito_USA) July 4, 2018
Unfortunately for LAFC, they were not able to hold down the victory in the dying moments of the game. In the 96th minute, Senderos hammered a ball from a corner on frame, and it deflected off Kaye’s foot into the net for an equalizer on the last kick of the game.
The #Dynamo equalize on the last kick of the game! Off a corner, Philippe Senderos smashed his shot off Kaye and in. The home side get 2 stoppage time goals to salvage 2-2 draw. #LAFC throw away points. #HOUvLAFC #MLS pic.twitter.com/sPhG7KglEj— Jason Foster (@JogaBonito_USA) July 4, 2018
Overall, LAFC did play a solid match on the offensive and defensive ends. LAFC held a good amount of possession and was able to not only hold the ball from Houston, but also break them down moving forward. LAFC also, at least for 90 minutes, were able to lock down the pitch on the defensive end, and got burned by a great pass upfield and a great hit from a corner.
This draw keeps LAFC in third place in the Western Conference, with 31 points. Sporting Kansas City and FC Dallas sit above the Black and Gold with 32 points, and both play on Wednesday. LAFC’s next match is Saturday against Orlando City, who have lost eight straight MLS matches.
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