Major League Soccer: LAFC Uses Second Half to Get Passed Colorado

Photo Credit: Aaron Martinez

Lee Nguyen and Diego Rossi each netted a goal in the second half for the Los Angeles Football Club to pull away from the Colorado Rapids at the Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles Sunday, August 19. LAFC’s record improves to 12-7-6 on the year with the win, and they now look forward to their match with their city rivals, the LA Galaxy.

Both LAFC and Colorado got off to a rough start in their week 25 matchup. Neither team was able break away from the other, though LAFC did control the ball most of the first half.

Laurent Ciman, LAFC’s captain looked to break the tie just before the first half whistle, but his kick shot directly towards Colorado goalkeeper Tim Howard. Howard was easily able to punch the ball away from his goal and keep the game scoreless after one half.

“I thought the last twenty minutes of the first half were pretty strong but the goal didn’t come so easy,” LAFC’s Coach Bob Bradley said postgame. “At halftime there was a few points made, but it’s mainly about continuing in the right way. Being a little more patient, being a little bit better in the box.”

LAFC showed improvement in the box right away in the second half. With his back turned to the goal, LAFC’s Lee Nguyen got possession of the ball in the box, quickly turned and fired a ball to the left side of the net and passed Howard in the match’s 49th minute.

“It was kind of a blur,” Nguyen chuckled as he spoke about his goal of the season after the game. “I was able to get to the ball first, and make a play on it. I was fortunate… it got passed Tim [Howard].”

Nguyen’s turn-around shot resulted in the first goal of the game and gave LAFC the 1-0 lead over the Rapids.

LAFC’s goalkeeper, Tyler Miller did his part to hold Colorado back from tying the game. Colorado had plenty of opportunities to score in the second half, but Miller, who was recently benched for a game, made great stop after great stop, including a save that led to LAFC second goal in the 80th minute.

“Those moments are huge. We’ve had them all season, where I’ve made a save and the team was able to go down and score right after that,” Miller said postgame. “I’m always locked in, always ready to make that play my team needs me to.”

Diego Rossi added the late score and secured the match win for LAFC.

LAFC’s victory pushes their record to 12-7-6 on the year and keeps them in third place in the MLS’s Western Conference. They’re next match will be against Los Angeles’s other club, the Galaxy.

“We are ready to win against the Galaxy, and I hope we can do it,” Mexico star Carlos Vela said confidently after Sunday’s match.

The battle for Los Angeles will take place Friday, August 24 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California with a 7:30 p.m. Pacific Time kickoff.