After suffering their first loss of the season, LAFC were back in action against Western Conference foe, Sporting KC. While SKC may be near the bottom of the conference standings, this is a team that has historically given the black and gold trouble on multiple occasions. The best way to overcome a loss is to get right back into the win column to start another run, though it wouldn't be easy.
For the first time this season we got a look at the three in-form attackers all playing together to start a match. Vela, Arango, and Opoku got the starting nod, and were going to do all they could to give the opposition fits. Which they are able to do for most of the first half. Finishing the half with 11 shots to SKC’s two, the black and gold only had one on target, though they would make the best of it.
Sporting opened scoring first near the final stanza of the first half. A good run into the box, and a decent shot at an angle ended up deflecting off Diego Palacios for what was officially ruled an Own Goal.
The visitors wouldn't enjoy the lead for long, because just five minutes later LAFC stopped knocking on the door, and just kicked it down. That one shot on target? A header from two feet away by Chicho Arango. He timed the run just right and a perfect pass from Mamadou Fall found him back post for the equalizer in the final minute of the first half. What’s even sweeter, the pass from Fall was due to a perfect ball into the box from none other than Diego Palacios. Karma and cosmic balance, or whatever.
LAFC took the lead in the second half behind a wonder-strike from substitute Ismael Tajouri-Shradi. Words can't do this one justice in the slightest, so just enjoy the video of what is likely the front runner for goal of the year.
Head Coach Steve Cherundolo couldn't make a wrong move in this one, as another one of his subs, Jose Cifuentes, found the back of the net minutes later to extend the lead. Just taking what the defense gave him, he made his way into the box and stabbed it home for the goal.
Three goals would be enough for the three points on the day, as LAFC found their way back into the win column, and with flair. In addition to the three points, the win put LAFC even with Philadelphia Union for the best record in MLS. Still early on in the 2022 campaign, but a performance like this after a tough loss, is always a great sign of where the mentality of the team is at.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!