Well, that sure was a fun ending. After being frustrated by a tough Real Salt Lake team, Los Angeles Football club got a late winner, and what a goal it was. Here’s what we thought about this match vs RSL.
Real Salt Lake took the lead again at Banc of California Stadium
Real Salt Lake jumped out ahead of LAFC in the playoff game last year, being an underdog but taking advantage of a mistake at the back to take the lead. It happened again in this game. Just minutes before Carlos Vela almost scored off a free kick, but it was saved by Nick Rimando. Then, Latif Blessing bumped into Bofo Saucedo from behind and knocked him down in the box. Damir Kreilach made no mistake with the penalty, and RSL went ahead. Blessing had been very energetic early in the game, maybe spurred by his comments about getting revenge for the playoff loss last year. Unfortunately in this instance Blessing was overeager on the challenge, and it put LAFC in a hole in the first half.
Adama Diomande started and looked lively up front
Maybe this was coming because of his performances in the first few weeks, maybe it was spurred on by Christian Ramirez being with the USMNT. Either way, Adama Diomande got the start up top for LAFC. Dio looked good in the first half, combining well with the other attackers, and causing problems for RSL’s defense. He was involved in the first goal, as he made a run through the lines, and almost got on the end of Latif Blessing’s pass. The ball was deflected, but right into the path of Diego Rossi, who hammered the shot home for LAFC’s equalizing goal. Dio in general seemed to drop deeper than Christian Ramirez has been, and this allowed him to combine well with LAFC’s other attackers and create good chances for the team.
Vela was frequently double teamed by RSL
Having seen what he’s done these first few weeks (and well, basically all of last season), Real Salt Lake made a point to cover Carlos Vela all over the field. Whenever Vela got the ball, he was immediately closed down, and usually by more than one defender. Being as skillful as he is, Vela was able to elude some defenders on runs anyway, but RSL were determined to keep him from finding time and space on the ball.
New faces on this international break
If you are a good team, chances are you will be missing players during international breaks. And LAFC were missing a few players this game, particularly in the starting lineup, Christian Ramirez and Mark-Anthony Kaye were on International duty. Adama Diomande started up front which was unsurprising, but in midfield Andre Horta made his first start of the season. Horta was ok, had some decent touches and passes, but was just a bit off, which is understandable since he’s been hurt. Also making appearances were Adrien Perez and Javi Perez (MLS debut), as well as Niko Hamalainen (in his MLS debut). These players were only on for the last 10 mins or so, but it was a good cameo appearance, and Hamalainen played a nice role in LAFC’s winning goal.
Walker Zimmerman steals the show at the end
Wow, what a hit!!! I don’t have much more to say than that, but after the red card LAFC really pushed for a winner, and Walker Zimmerman pushed up the field and found himself in space, and hammered it home from long range, another stoppage time winner at home for LAFC, and surely a goal of the week nominee from Walker Zimmerman.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!