Late goals help cement three points for the LAFC over the Crew

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LAFC win over Crew
COLUMBUS, OH — MAY 11: Los Angeles FC midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye (14) runs with the ball during the game between the Columbus Crew SC and the Los Angeles FC at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio on May 11, 2019. (Photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).

Los Angeles, California (May 11, 2019) — The score may have read 0-3 at the final whistle, but for 88 minutes the match was far from in hand for LAFC. Both teams came out with a plan and both executed well.

The Columbus Crew set up defensively, looking to find a goal on the counter-attack. LAFC looked to press up field, win possession and find chances early and often.

Late goals help cement three points for the Los Angeles Football Club

The match was a stalemate early on. While LAFC controlled possession, the clear chances they found were few and far between. Columbus were able to find space with a solid counter-attack. However, a stout LAFC defense limited clear opportunities. Scoring was opened in the 38th minute, when Mark-Anthony Kaye curled a ball past Joe Bendik, finding the bottom corner.

The second half was much like the first, with Los Angeles content on playing more defense while still seeking space on the counter. Columbus spent the majority of the second half looking the favorite to score and equalize.

However, in the 88th minute a Columbus error led to an open Perez shot, and after striking the post the ball found Adama Diomande, who was able to put it in the back of the net. MVP favorite, Carlos Vela, drove the final nail in the coffin, with a wonderful strike with that famed left foot of his in the 90th minute.

Three Takeaways

  1. Technical Victory: Los Angeles played perhaps their best match of the season from a technical standpoint. When they wanted to press to win possession, they played that to perfection. When they wanted to sit back a bit more and let the chances come to them, they did that perfectly. While a 0-1 match may seem tense, LAFC controlled the match almost wire to wire, with the Crew finding only one clear chance. The scoreline may not be indicative of the way the match went, it is indicative of what LAFC worked for.
  2. Phenomenal Four: What can you say about the league’s best defense? Clean sheet aside, this defense only allowed one shot on goal. Columbus only had eight shots all match. Meanwhile, a lot of that was down to how well the back four were able to break up the build-ups. LAFC goalkeeper Tyler Miller flexed his ability with an incredible save on that lone shot on goal. With a total of four clean sheet victories, and having allowed only three goals over the last eight matches, this defense continues to be as close to impenetrable as possible.
  3. Man in the Armband: Rarely do you get a captain that contributes as consistently as Vela does for LAFC. Tonight was no different as he once again showed why he is the early favorite for MVP. With the game already in hand, Vela found enough space to finish off proceedings with a thunderous left footed strike. It wasn’t just the goal that was impressive, but the mindset. This is a player that knows exactly what it will take to get Silverware, and knows that when you have a chance to end a team, you end them. That killer instinct is what will permeate throughout the squad, and bode well for the mentality going forward.

What’s Next?

LAFC will have somewhat of a fast turnaround as they are back in action at The Banc of California Stadium on Thursday. They will face a tough FC Dallas squad.

FC Dallas are another team LAFC have yet to defeat, finishing in a 1-1 draw the first time they met, and falling 2-1 the second go round. LAFC will look to build on the final five minutes of today’s match, and prepare to cross another team of their list.

 

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