LAFC press hard, strike early
LAFC were very aggressive in the early minutes, pressing high up the field, and pressuring the Quakes in their own end. It may not be the press man-marking system that new Earthquakes coach Matias Almeyda is famous for, but it was effective, keeping the Earthquakes pinned back. LAFC also played long balls over the top, and almost scored very early, a Diego Rossi breakaway effort saved well by Quakes goalie Daniel Vega. A few mins later though, Vega had a howler, completely missing on a back pass which allowed Carlos Vela to walk the ball into the net for the lead. They made it two goals before the half hour mark, a beautifully worked passing move finished off by Steven Beitashour. Beita the Earthquake killer now has a goal in each LAFC game at San Jose so far.
Vela was able to take advantage of the Earthquakes’ slow backline
Carlos Vela is a man of many talents, but one of them that is not mentioned very often is his pace. Vela is not a burner like, say, Latif Blessing, but he is quick, and he’s almost as quick with the ball at his feet. The Earthquakes’ backline besides Tommy Thompson is not very fast, and Vela was able to use his quickness and his timing to repeatedly get in behind, especially through the middle past the Earthquakes center backs.
The game slowed down after LAFC’s first two goals
As is bound to happen generally, two early goals by LAFC really took the sting out of the rest of the half. The Earthquakes got forward more a little, but were not able to really generate any good chances. LAFC took the foot off the gas pressing wise, but still had a few opportunities going the other way. But the frenetic pace that the game started at cooled in the latter part of the first that way, and stayed that way until the 45th minute, in which a ball over the top was taken by Diego Rossi and crossed and finished by Carlos Vela for a 3-0 lead.
Vela the magic man again
Oops, he did it again. Maybe spurred by Alejandro Pozuelo’s great debut with Toronto FC last night, but Carlos Vela stole the show again, leading LAFC to a dominant performance. He got a hat trick, and the last goal was a stunning strike. It was a Vela special, a curler with his left foot from the top of the box that flew into the corner and left no chance for Vega. Vela got the goals, but this was really a team domination, LAFC able to impose their will and their style of play over a hapless Earthquakes team.
Angels on Tour
Finally, a special shout out to the LAFC fans. They traveled in force from down south, completely filling the away section, and taking up most of the surrounding section as well. They were clearly audible in the press box as well as around the other parts of the stadium. They sang and chanted the whole game, and it was noticeable, completely drowning out any chants or songs by the Earthquakes fans. For this occasion, Avaya Stadium was Banc of California North.
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