If not for several great stops from Dallas goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer, LAFC’s win would have been far more lopsided, but this was the first performance in some time in which LAFC looked like their vintage best, and scoring multiple goals while also tallying their first clean sheet since the opening game should raise spirits.
Tomas Romero made his MLS debut, the surprise starter in goal for LAFC, while Kim Moon-hwan and Cal Jennings made their first starts with LAFC in this game.
The scoring started early, with Eduard Atuesta sending a simple throughball to Vela, on the shoulder of the last defender. Vela turned and slammed the shot home.
Vela nearly had a second goal in the 12th minute, with a free kick that clanged off the post. LAFC had a series of near looks and near misses as the first half wore on, showing they had attacking intent but needing to get the insurance goal to shore up their position in the game. Jose Cifuentes had a terrific shot shortly before halftime that forced a big save by Maurer.
They went into the break with LAFC holding the 1-0 lead. They were great value for the lead, but some concern they needed to add to it in order to clinch the victory with another half to play.
Bob Bradley made one change at halftime, with Tristan Blackmon entering the game and Cal Jennings making way after 45 minutes.
A great buildup initiated by Kim just before the hour mark led to another terrific shot from Cifuentes and another big save by Maurer, who was putting together a big performance for FCD. Then Vela had a great chance turned aside by Maurer and LAFC really pushed for the second goal.
Blessing did get the ball in the net in the 69th minute, but Vela, who supplied the assist, was ruled offside and the goal was chalked off on the field. But a VAR review reversed the call and gave the goal to LAFC, to make it 2-0.
Vela made way in the 76th minute for Danny Musovski, this game being Vela’s best of the season so far by a long shot. Cifuentes exited the match in the 84th minute, with Francisco Ginella taking his place. And Jordan Harvey entered in the 89th minute, with Marco Farfan making way.
Was this a perfect performance? Maybe not, but it was pretty damn good. In addition to a good performance by Vela, both Kim and Farfan were terrific and Cifuentes was robbed of at least one goal. Romero only had one save to make, but considering the high pressure for the youngster, he made the most of his chance and looked good in his debut.
LAFC will be back in action with their first road game in a while, when they head to middle America to take on Sporting Kansas City on Saturday afternoon. It won’t be an easy meeting, but hopefully LAFC can build on this win with another good result against a tough opponent.
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