After two straight wins at home, it was time for LAFC to get back on the road. This time, against bottom of the table Austin FC. Even with more players missing with injury, the black and gold needed this win to keep their playoff hopes within reach. They were able to do just that, as late goal heroics helped push them to a 2-1 win on the road on Wednesday at Q2 Stadium.
With several key players like Carlos Vela, and Eduard Atuesta out with injury, LAFC came out with the back five that has become familiar this season. It almost crumbled immediately, as Austin FC found their best chance of the half within minutes of the match starting, and netted what appeared to be the leading goal. However, a quick look from replay officials, and it was deemed no-goal.
The early scare woke up LAFC, who buckled down and did well to prevent any further attempts on goal. Austin FC finished the half with just three shots, with none finding the target. While the hosts did maintain a majority of the possession in the first half, LAFC finished with more looks on goal, with eight shots. Unfortunately, none found the back of the net, and the teams went into the halftime break even at zero.
While LAFC did come out of halftime shifting to a back four, they did continue to stifle the Austin FC attack. Cristian “Chicho” Arango continued his immaculate form, as he was the one to break the deadlock in the second half. After VAR awarded LAFC the penalty for a dubious handball decision, Arango stepped up and made it four straight matches finding the back of the net, this one for the lead in the second half.
Austin didn't let the bad call deter them too much, as they were able to find an equalizer moments later. Diego Fagúndez did well to follow a shot that initially went off the post, and was able to bring the home side level once again.
A goal was scored past the 80th minute mark, a regularity for an LAFC match. What was not regular, it was LAFC that scored said goal. The moose got loose in Austin, as Danny Musovski timed his run, controlled the pass, and finished it coolly for the lead late in the match.
Despite a late push from Austin, where they had several good looks, LAFC were able to lockdown on defense and see out the win for the three points. With a third match just days away, against a tough Portland Timbers side, getting back into a playoff spot tonight was huge for LAFC. Still plenty of work to do, but with three straight wins, maybe the black and gold are finally finding their way.
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