No time to dwell on the recent skid for LAFC. Just days after their second-straight loss, LAFC were back in action against the Houston Dynamo. Houston may be at the bottom of the Western Conference standings, but one thing San Jose taught us, was that you can never presume anything in sports.
The home side wasted little time in getting the first goal of the match, courtesy of a handball call on LAFC midfielder, Ilie Sánchez in the 13th minute. While the ball did indeed hit the midfielder’s hand, there was nothing he could do to avoid that contact, despite retract his arms as fast as he could. Still, the referee deemed it a penalty, and Houston converted for the lead.
LAFC responded as you would expect a championship aspiring team to respond, with a goal of their own. In the 19th minute Mahala Opoku sent a gorgeous ball clear over the box Vela waiting on the other end, only to loft the ball back into the box, where Chicho Arango headed it home. It was a moment of pure beauty, and it put the teams back on terms early.
Despite finishing with a flurry of several chances that came within inches of going in, LAFC would have to settle for the 1-1 scoreline headed into the halftime break. The team finished ahead in just abut every category, ending the half with seven shots and keeping 55% of possession.
LAFC came into the second half in typical fashion, putting pressure on the opposition. The team had a stretch of four clear and close looks at goal, but credit to Clark and the Dynamo defense who were a wall late in the match to keep LAFC out of goal. In the 75th minute those stops paid of in a major way, when Griffin Dorsey found space on a run, and put on an excellent shot that may have benefited from a slight deflection, but was likely always going in to retake the lead.
When the final whistle blew, it was a third straight loss for the black and gold. The loss doesn't hurt the team too much in terms on Conference lead, still having a six point cushion, but it hurts their Supporter’s Shield chances. Once in control of that race, they are now level on points with a Philadelphia Union side that is scoring for funsies at the moment.
The team will have little rest again, back in action this Sunday, when they are back at home against RSL, who always seem to be an opponent when the tensions arise. Putting the race for the Shield aside, LAFC need to get back to winning ways to make sure they go into the postseason with more confidence and less doubt.
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