Christian Torres got off the mark for 2021 with a brace and Las Vegas Lights FC won their first road game since 2019 on Wednesday, when they downed LA Galaxy II 4-3 in Carson.
The win avenges a lopsided loss Las Vegas suffered earlier in the season at the hands of Galaxy II, and shows the latest mark of progress made by Steve Cherundolo’s team.
Seven loanees from LAFC started for Lights FC on the night: Tomas Romero, Mohamed Traore, Mamadou Fall, Bryce Duke, Alvaro Quezada and Danny Musovski. Only Torres was held in reserve on the bench, but it turned out to be the right move.
The goals started quickly in this game, as Galaxy II forward Preston Judd scored his first goal of the night just five minutes in, as he had a cushioned looping header that went in just inside the corner of the goal.
Sick header alert @prestonjudd10 opens the scoring for #LosDos pic.twitter.com/yESM8KUnKB— LA Galaxy II (@LAGalaxyII) June 17, 2021
But Las Vegas answered almost immediately, with Quezada timing his run perfectly on a throughball and slotting it home in the 9th minute to make it 1-1.
Down 1 Early but Quezada had an answer! @AFCU pic.twitter.com/uQHwzmmwiy— Las Vegas Lights FC (@lvlightsfc) June 17, 2021
And then Musovski made it 2-1 in the 13th minute, with another stellar throughball going up the middle to reach the striker, who dribbled around Jonathan Klinsmann and buried his shot.
Danny Musovski, @NevadaState homegrown player, quickly put the Lights on top! @AFCU #VivaLights pic.twitter.com/LvwmGmwbQI— Las Vegas Lights FC (@lvlightsfc) June 17, 2021
Las Vegas had two more great looks in the first half, one cleared by LA at the last moment and the other a near-miss by Musovski, and that helped Galaxy II stay in the game. They took advantage in the 41st minute, with Judd scoring his second of the game with a dribble upfield off a throughball.
JUDD IS UNSTOPPABLE @prestonjudd10 scores his second of the night. pic.twitter.com/UyOk2eRQyL— LA Galaxy II (@LAGalaxyII) June 17, 2021
The teams went into the halftime break knotted up at 2-2, and honestly, it was a fun, even half, with Las Vegas perhaps shading the advantage in their favor.
Torres came off the bench for Musovski at the half, and the homegrown striker opened his account for Las Vegas with a three-minute brace. He capitalized on Duke’s terrific work in the box just after the hour mark to beat Klinsmann and put Lights FC ahead 3-2.
Last Night's Money Shot of the Match! @USBank pic.twitter.com/UT2oMtQDeC— Las Vegas Lights FC (@lvlightsfc) June 17, 2021
Torres then was the recipient of another awesome throughball two minutes later, and timed his shot off the dribble just right to score his second of the night and ultimately, the game-winner.
But the game was not out of hand, and Judd completed his hat trick in the 67th minute. He nearly had a fourth goal with a shot that clanged off the post with about 15 minutes to play.
@prestonjudd10 scores his first professional hat trick ‼️ pic.twitter.com/CRhCgiWinj— LA Galaxy II (@LAGalaxyII) June 17, 2021
But Las Vegas seemed to prioritize defense in the dying minutes, and that, coupled with Romero stepping up down the stretch and making four saves on the night, meant Lights FC posted not only a win, but a highly professional win against a tricky opponent. It was a job well done for a Lights FC side that appears to have found their footing this season.
Las Vegas will be on short rest ahead of their next game, Saturday when they host Orange County SC. OCSC have also rounded into form lately, so it will be another good test for Cherundolo’s team.
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