Just a few days after a nice 3-1 win at home, LAFC are back in action on the road. In full control of the league and Western Conference, the black and gold take a trip North to take on the Vancouver Whitecaps. Not just points, but some pride on the line, with the return of former Whitecap, goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau going up against his old squad with the new one.
Having just had a match at the midweek, and with one eye on El Tráfico coming next weekend, LAFC deployed a fairly heavy rotated squad for this one. As such, they switched up tactics a bit as well. Not the typical high-speed, flat-out attack that we usually see from the black and gold, instead we saw a more methodical side. The team was content with absorbing any pressure from Vancouver, maintaining possession, and picking their chances to go on a run carefully.
The result was a scoreless first half for both sides. The half ended with LAFC putting up just four shots, with zero on target. They did keep 62% of the possession and had twice as many successful passes (314) than Vancouver. While not the most exciting, it was the best outcome outside of taking the lead, for the team as they looked to just secure the result on the road.
Vancouver came out for the second half more aggressive. They racked up shots in the second, and nearly came close to an opening goal. Former LAFC defender, Tristan Blackmon, put on a great shot that was met by an even better save from former Vancouver goalkeeper, Maxime Crépeau.
Just when it looked like LAFC would get away with playing it safe, they made a single mistake that Vancouver were more than ready to pounce on. Ilie Sanchez tried to clear a ball out, but it hit Andres Cubas who took control and put on a quality ball from range for the eventual game-winner.
The late goal was enough to see a win for the home side, and enough to snap the four match unbeaten run that LAFC had going. While this result wasn't what the team wanted, its the risk that comes with having to rotate a squad and play more conservative given the congested schedule. The next match will be a big one. With all the momentum, and playing at home, LAFC will host rivals LA Galaxy next weekend. Time for the team to regroup, and take advantage of giving so many regulars a rest tonight. All eyes will shift to next week as the black and gold look to get back in the win column in a massive way.
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