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Wild Wild West: LAFC 3, San Jose Earthquakes 2

LAFC get the much-needed win at home, as they head into International break atop the Western Conference

MLS: San Jose Earthquakes at Los Angeles FC Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

With only the MLS regular season to focus on, LAFC were back at home after another short turnaround after another tough loss. Days after being eliminated from the U.S. Open Cup at the hands of their crosstown rivals, LA Galaxy, the black and gold were back defending The Banc against the San Jose Earthquakes. The visitors also came into the match fresh off an USOC upset at the hands of USL side, Sacramento Republic, so this would be a bounce-back opportunity for both sides. LAFC proved to have the stronger bounce-back game, coming away with the 3-2 win in a chaotic match at home.

The match got off to an eerie start as an apparent protest from the passionate 3252 was underway. While it remains unclear exactly why they were protesting, talk online suggested they were voicing their displeasure by remaining silent for the first 12 minutes of the match. During said protest, no flags were being flown, and the only banner present read ‘All we require is your very best’.

Even after LAFC got on the board with an early goal, silence. About that goal though, LAFC were awarded a penalty in the eighth minute of the match. Chicho Arango stepped up to the spot and calmly and methodically, put it home for the lead.

That was just the start of what would be a wild first 15 minutes in this one. Just minutes after taking the lead, LAFC doubled it courtesy of a left foot shot from defender, Ryan Hollingshead. The shot was low, but strong enough to get past the keeper near post.

Minutes after that, in the 15th minute, San Jose decided to join in on the fun. Ebobisse, a name familiar to plenty of LAFC faithful, was able to pull one back for his side. He was on the receiving end of what was an excellent display of passing and one touch in the build-up that ended in a fairly easy chance for the visitors.

After both teams took a bit to breathe and settle into the match for a bit, San Jose got the equalizer they had been a threat to get. Once again it was Ebobisse who was able to get free in the box, secure the ball in from the corner kick, and finish it with his first touch to level it up before the break in the 31st minute.

LAFC wasted no time in getting back their lead to start the second half. Some solid passing, and a fortunate deflection, gave Brian Rodriguez a great look at goal, and he put it away for the lead in the 47th minute.

After 47 minutes of pure MLS chaos, the match slowed down as the teams began to employ their end-of-match tactics. LAFC focused on maintaining possession and killing every possible second, while San Jose began putting on the long ball as they looked for space to create a potential equalizer.

It wouldn't happen for San Jose however, with the black and gold doing well to defend when needed while still providing a real threat in attack until the final whistle was blown. After a rough stretch where the team lost three of their last four — including the aforementioned loss to LA Galaxy in the USOC — it was great to see the team secure the win at home, with a long International break on the horizon.

For the players selected by their respective National teams, this break is a chance to add more solid performances ahead of the illustrious World Cup call-ups. For those who aren't on National rosters, this break is a chance to rest, recover, get healthy, and begin the next phase of the 2022 campaign. The team are back in action, on the road, Saturday June 18th when they take on the Seattle Sounders. That will be a historic weekend, with a double-header featuring NWSL side, Angel City FC, as they take on the Seattle Reign later that evening. As for now the team can enjoy the win as they go into break atop the Western Conference, and in control of their own destiny.

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