clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Early Lead, Early Win; LAFC 4, Montreal Impact 2

LAFC scores three goals in the first 31 minutes to put away Montreal early.

MLS: Montreal Impact at Los Angeles FC Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

After an unexpected tie in Dallas to end last week, Los Angeles Football Club returned to the Banc with an aggressive 4-2 win over the Montreal Impact on LAFC’s Pride Night. With goals from four different players, Los Angeles enjoyed their first three-goal first half lead since April 6th.

With Eduard Atuesta back in the middle, the lineup was back to full strength with one exception: Tristan Blackmon starting at left back in place of the injured Steven Beitashour.

Without wasting time, Los Angeles went for the jugular finding themselves up 1-0 after just seven minutes. Montreal goalkeeper Evan Bush got the ball played back to him with Christian Ramirez chasing. Bush tried to clear the ball near the penalty spot, but Ramirez stepped in front of Bush in time to deflect the clearance attempt back into the open net. This was Ramirez’s third goal on the season and his first in his last six matches.

Already with a lead, LAFC quickly established their game by the 20th minute. Though Montreal had put a shot on goal in the first few minutes, Los Angeles had controlled 65 percent of possession, already attempted five shots, and forced Montreal to concede two corners.

The consistent connections and patient control ended produced yet another Carlos Vela goal in the 28th minute. Just past midfield, Diego Rossi sent a perfect through ball right at the feet of Vela who made a cut down the middle of the defensive line. With only Bush to beat, Vela calmly placed a grounded shot around Bush’s left side and it rolled in to give Vela his 15th goal in as many games.

LAFC was not done. Just three minutes later, the Black-and-Gold returned to their ways of earning fast, early leads that happened so often in the beginning of the season. Vela returned the favor by sending Rossi on a run down the left side of the box. Rossi crossed the ball back towards the six-yard box past the diving Bush and a streaking Latif Blessing redirected it home at the doorstep to give Los Angeles a 3-0 lead with 14 minutes still remaining in the half.

Still hungry for more, yet another golden scoring opportunity came in the 41st minute. Vela received a lofted ball behind the back line. He cut back and laid the ball off for the trailing Rossi. Rossi, unmarked, took the pass in stride with only Bush to beat and shot low and right. This time, Bush stifled the shot with a quick dive to his right for already his fifth save.

By halftime, LAFC’s possession had dropped to 60 percent but had found a total of eight shots on net while Montreal failed to find a second one of their own.

Los Angeles came out without losing a step in the second half. In the 51st minute, Blessing picked out Vela on a run very similar to Rossi’s assist earlier in the game. Again with only Bush to beat, Vela chipped the ball over the charging Bush and into the net. However, the goal was disallowed after the referee acknowledged the AR’s offside flag.

In the 55th minute, Ramirez turned with the ball and plenty of space about ten yards outside the box. He put his head down a ripped a bullet towards the far upper corner, but Bush dove and strongly punched it out for LAFC’s fourth corner. This would not be enough to keep a fourth goal off the board, however.

After quite an impressive game of using his speed to make some dangerous runs and passes in the attacking third, Blackmon rose at the six-yard box unmarked and headed home the following corner for his first MLS goal in 11 career appearances.

Adama Diomande came on as the first substitution to replace Ramirez in the 65th minute.

With a four goal lead, the only thing left to ensure the rest of the game was the clean sheet. But it would not be. One could say that LAFC played so well the first 70 minutes that the only way Montreal could score was via own goal. And that is what happened in the 71st minute.

Montreal’s Maximiliano Urruti made a run down the right side of the box. He took a shot on a very tight ankle and Tyler Miller was able to save the shot. Unfortunately, the resulting loose ball bounced off the back-tracking Eddie Segura and rolled into the open net. The only Los Angeles defender to start and finish all 15 matches so far this year would want that one back for his goalkeeper’s sake.

Andre Horta replaced Atuesta before play resumed. Mark-Anthony Kaye moved into Atuesta’s former spot at center midfield and Horta took over Kaye’s vacant spot at left midfield.

No possession of note occurred in the following ten minutes, but Montreal did earn a penalty shot in the 84th minute after Walker Zimmerman took down Anthony Jackson-Hamel in the box. Zimmerman was shown the game’s first yellow card and Saphir Taider tucked home the Impact’s second goal in the bottom left corner, just out of reach of the diving Miller.

Perhaps motivated by Montreal’s late push, LAFC found Rossi another golden opportunity in the 89th minute. Blessing laid the ball off for a streaking Diomande down the right side. Diomande sent a low pass across the box on the one-time right to the feet of an open Rossi near the penalty spot. He seemed to lose his balance right as he was preparing to hit the pass on goal and curled the shot wide right.

After starting the season with six goals in the first six matches, including a hat-trick in that win over DC United, Rossi has only found the back of the net once in the eight matches since. Joshua Perez came on to replace Rossi up top for LAFC’s final substitution in the second minute of added time.

Though Los Angeles seemed to take the foot off the gas pedal during the fading moments of the game, it is super encouraging to see this team find their footing so early in a game again and assert their dominance as the best team in the league. LAFC will begin their June campaign by hosting the Timbers next Saturday in a rematch of the 4-1 Black and Gold victory in Portland back in March.

What do you think? Leave a comment below!