For the first time in over a year, MLS returned to Vancouver. LAFC wrapped up their brief stint on the road with a match against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday. Vancouver sent fans home happy with a late goal winner, giving them three points in the 2-1 win.
The black-and-gold started off the match as well as you could without scoring. They had several close chances, looking like a real threat to take the lead. LAFC captain Carlos Vela came off in just the 16th minute with what is being called a quad strain. Whether this is serious, or just a precaution going into All-Star week, remains to be seen.
Despite a few close scares, after mistakes left Vancouver with several close chances, LAFC controlled the half. They went into the break leading in shots, 14-4, and enjoyed 54% of possession. The most important shot of the night came in the 47th minute. Brian Rodriguez drew a controversial penalty decision, after a quick trip to VAR from the ref, resulted in a point to the spot. Diego Rossi stepped up, and finished it calmly to give the good guys the one-goal lead going into the break.
The second half went about the same as second halves have gone for LAFC all season. Not great.
Vancouver caught the LAFC napping in the 60th minute. After their initial shot hit the crossbar, defenders stood watching as the Whitecaps followed up the shot, nudging the ball past the line. LAFC did well to continue to get chances and pepper the goal, but nothing came of it.
The late match troubles continued when the hosts sent the fans home happy with a would-be winner in the 89th minute. A ball into the box found Ryan Gauld with plenty of time, and space, to get his head on it for the goal and eventual three points.
The loss extends the LAFC winless run to seven, but also makes it three straight losses on the road. Luckily, LAFC return to The Banc for a three-match home stretch. They host their rivals, LA Galaxy, August 28th. This loss is a tough one, but with even bigger matches ahead, there’s no time to dwell if playoffs are still in the cards.
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