With the All-Star circus departed, and the big rivalry match behind us, Friday’s LAFC match may have lacked the build-up, but remained an important one. While the team came into the match 11th in the West, they were only three points shy of a playoff spot. A great performance at home, and a 4-0 shutout win over Sporting KC tonight, vaulted the black and gold into seventh, and into the last playoff spot.
Much like the last time these two teams met, Sporting KC took early control of the first half. Unlike the last time, they couldn't turn that possession into goals. This was great for a severely short-handed LAFC side. The black and gold took advantage of Sporting’s inability to take the lead, and did it themselves. An 18th minute header from Mamadou Fall opened his LAFC and MLS accounts, while giving his team the early lead. With only three shots in the first half, it was good to see the squad finally scoring on minimal opportunities.
Taking the one goal lead into the half, the real pressure was on. The problem with LAFC hasn’t been the way they've started matches, but how they've finished them. Luckily for LAFC, they had some cosmic karma working in their favor.
A tackle from Sporting’s Roger Espinoza, was enough for the referee to take a trip to VAR, and subsequently resulted in a red card for the player. LAFC wasted no time in taking advantage. A second set-piece sent into the box found Mamadou Fall for the second time, as he doubled the lead, earning his first brace in the process.
The team’s newest signing, Cristian Arango, continued to make his mark. The Colombian got on the end of a great pass from Danny Musovski, and put the third goal of the night into the back of the net.
Another for the hosts!— Major League Soccer (@MLS) September 4, 2021
Arango gets in on the action to make it 3-0. pic.twitter.com/i4CbJbmvlY
The cherry on top came late in the match, when LAFC was awarded a penalty after Danny Musovski was brought dow in the box in a 1 v 1 situation. With two assists already on the night, midfielder Eduard Atuesta stepped up to the spot, and scored the final goal of the night, sealing the three points, and snapping the eight game winless streak.
The win not only ends the streak, but it is an incredibly important win against a team that has done well all season. The three points send LAFC from 11th, to seventh, where they sit tied on points with Real Salt Lake. With just a dozen matches left in the season, the team couldn't have picked a better time to start playing well. Let's see if they can carry it into the next match.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!