Pablo Sisniega shines as LAFC advance in U.S. Open Cup

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Pablo Sisniega
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA — APRIL 21: Pablo Sisniega #23 of Los Angeles FC makes a save during a warm up exercise ahead of a game against the Seattle Sounders at Banc of California Stadium on April 21, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images).

Los Angeles, California (June 21, 2019) — LAFC punched their ticket to the quarterfinals in the 2019 U.S. Open Cup. However, this time around things were far from straightforward, with an unlikely hero making his presence felt.

LAFC goalkeeper Pablo Sisniega absolutely shined, putting in a Man of The Match performance against the visiting San Jose Earthquakes. The first half started out all San Jose. The Earthquakes found plenty of space along the left side of the LAFC defense, leading to a seventh minute goal for the visitors.

After a slow start, LAFC began to slow the leaks in the defense. Lee Nguyen was able to put in a perfect through ball to Diego Rossi, who calmly chipped in the equalizer in the 35th minute. Both teams went into the half feeling it was their match to win. However, ultimately it would be the hosts who made the proper adjustments.

Pablo Sisniega shines, makes critical saves, as LAFC advance to quarterfinals

LAFC came out focused in the second half. Finding their rhythm — and space to attack — LAFC found their second goal in the 60th minute. Adama Diomande was able to split the defense, gathered the pass and moved past the keeper for an easy goal.

MVP candidate Carlos Vela continued his incredible form.

Scoring yet another goal, this one in the 85th minute, Vela makes it seven straight games on the scoresheet. However, as bright as Vela’s star may be, tonight was all about LAFC’s keeper.

Pablo Sisniega

If the last U.S. Open Cup match was a coming out party, last night cemented his belonging in the MLS. Pablo Sisniega put in another incredible performance last night. San Jose didn’t just pepper the goal; it was an all-out assault for most of the night. Imagine Mister Fantastic in goal and that was Sisniega last night. Finishing the night with eight saves, each more critical than the last, he was by far the star of the show. Without his efforts, LAFC would have been eliminated.

Grinding out a win

It had been a while since we had seen the “Cardiac Kids” version of LAFC. However, despite a slow start — and shaky back line — LAFC did enough to get the win. LAFC could have easily began to play outside themselves once down in the first 10 minutes. However, the fact that they remained calm and continued to play their style of match show the amount of confidence they have. They know if they play their game, nobody can beat them. As of now, they have been right.

Hunt continues

With the win, LAFC secure their place in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup. Even with all the recent success, this is still a young club looking for its first trophy. Winning the tournament not only means silverware for the cabinet, but it provides a path to the CONCACAF Champion’s League. A chance for LAFC to shine bright on the world stage, not just for Los Angeles, but for the league as a whole. First, the next match, and it won’t be getting any easier.

Look ahead

LAFC will host the quarterfinals match against the Portland Timbers, in what has become a blossoming rivalry. However, up next for the Black and Gold, is the resumption of MLS play. Back on the road against the Colorado Rapids, LAFC will look to build on their current nine-point lead.

While the Rapids may have been bounced out of the U.S. Open Cup by giant killer, New Mexico United, they have gone unbeaten in their last five league matches.

 

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