LAFC Dominates on their Home Field

Forward+and+Captain+Carlos+Vela+made+four+assists+and+scored+the+winning+goal+against+Real+Salt+Lake.+LAFC+currently+stands+in+fifth+place%2C+with+21+points+in+the+Western+Conference.

Aaron Martinez

Forward and Captain Carlos Vela made four assists and scored the winning goal against Real Salt Lake. LAFC currently stands in fifth place, with 21 points in the Western Conference.

On July 17, LAFC met with Real Salt Lake at the Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, CA. Meeting for the second time this season, LAFC looks for a second victory against RSL and a third straight win. While Jesùs Murillo (94) sits on a yellow card, and Kim Moon-Whan (33) recovering from a knee injury, LAFC prepares with an open mind on their home field. LAFC Manager Bob Bradley expresses, “We have been so excited to get back to playing games in a full stadium. It is so important to us the connection between us and our supporters. We continue to push hard in training and raise our level.”

First Half Commences

Kickoff starts with Real Salt Lake. Quickly putting into play, they attack with sharp strength through LAFC territory. Playing home, LAFC quickly gains possession fiercely attacking just in the first minute. While LAFC creates advantages, RSL has trouble gaining possession out of their half. With two corners, David Ochoa (1) steps up to save both shots. During the 10th minute, LAFC dominates another counter possession. Diego Rossi (9) receives a pass from midfield, traveling his way up to the 18 yard box.  Hot in RSL territory, Rossi connects with Josè Cifuentes (11) from a wall pass. He sneaks his way in, moving face to face with Ochoa. Ochoa steps up but Rossi slips through the lower right corner winning a point for LAFC. Losing by one, RSL feels the pressure and the competition intensifies.

RSL kicks off going full speed into LAFC zone. Although having trouble with keeping consistent pressure, RSL pushes on. 18th minute, LAFC moves to RSL’s half. Losing possession, RSL counters with Everton Luiz (25) and defender Aaron Herrera (22) running down the line. With a small through ball to Everton, he switches the play by passing to Herrera, supporting his run. Herrera controls the ball moving pass LAFC defense, shooting through Tomàs Romero (30) and into the net, equalizing the game.

The Fight for Domination

As the intensity increases, both teams continue to play aggressive. 25th minute LAFC connects well within their opponent’s half. Engaging forward, Cifuentes looks up for a cross to the center of the 18-yard box. Shooting forcefully, RSL defender Justen Glad (15) steps in to deflect the cross. Having an off touch, the ball moves towards the net, but Ochoa’s quick reaction saves his team from an own goal.

Continuing into the 35th minute, LAFC earns a free kick from a foul by Herrera. Starting the kick, the shot was deflected by the wall. With Carlos Vela (10) supporting, he aims shooting at the top right corner post. Kim tries to keep it in play, but no other opportunity was followed through. As the half winds down, both teams have equal possession. With two-minute stoppage time, Vela connects with Kim out wide on RSL defensive half. Kim weaves through two defenders attempting to push him out of bounce. Looking for options, he connects towards the penalty area to Cifuentes, taking a low shot skimming away from the right inside corner.

Taking Chances

Starting the second half, both teams are still tied. Shortly after the play starts, Real Salt Lake makes a breakaway attempt. From their defense, they cross up to midfielder Damir Kreilach (8) running down the line. Although Murillo charges to protect the ball, he fumbles in the box giving Kreilach an advantage towards goal. As quickly as this play starts, Romero closes in on Kreilach’s angle, deflecting his touch away from the net.  Three minutes later, LAFC forward Raheem Edwards (44) receives a pass wide from his defense. On a 2 versus 1 play, he manages to get through for a shot. Curving his shot, Ochoa leaps in front with a clean save.

Former Mexico National Player Carlos Vela led the MLS league with nine penalties scored. (Aaron Martinez)

58thminute, LAFC is awarded a penalty kick from a handball by Herrera. Vela steps forward to take the penalty. With hesitation, Vela shoots right but Ochoa dives in, blocking the shot with a last minute hand raise in the air. Although LAFC has their fair amount of opportunities, both teams struggle to maintain dominance.

In the 78th minute, Kim receives the ball from defense. Lifting his head up, he sends a cross to Vela outside the 18-yard box. Vela controls with his chest and volleys a hard shot from a wide angle and into the top corner of the net, gaining a goal. Creeping towards the end of the game, RSL starts to push for more chances, but continues to get shut down. LAFC remains winning their counters, looking for gaps and ways to inherit another point. With an even possession of 43-56%, the match finishes with a home win for LAFC, 2-1.

 

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