Another game without Carlos Vela but, then again ,that was perfectly okay because it’s like he was never never missed.
First goal came in by Diego Rossi in the 14th minute through a penalty. Thanks to a tackle error from Nicolás Lodeiro. Rossi was only left with Lodeiro to finish his power dribble but Lodeiro had no time for that. Converting the penalty gave LAFC an early lead and marked Rossi’s sixth goal in the welcome back tournament which could easily translate to LAFC will have a great attacking force when Vela comes back or Vela may not be needed after all.
LAFC continued to push right after the first goal and more so with last years knockout against Sounders in mind. The thought of loosing again probably gave them more reason to push further and knock the Sounders off the MLS is Back Tournament. Just a recap in the previous match between these two far away rivals, Sounders had taken the victory from LAFC at the Bank of California in a painful 3-1 loss for LAFC, and this time it was pay back time as Latif Blessing later put it across at the end of the match.
It is no doubt Diego Rossi has stepped up without Vela, he has been a huge threat to most teams since the MLS is Back tournament kicked off and the Sounders did feel his presence. Beating the defenders here and there and creating threatening chances frustrated the Seattle's defense from the get go.
Its clear both coaches had put in a lot of work with their teams and none of them wanted to loose to the other but as Bob Bradley always says, sometimes you have a good game and this was that moment for LAFC.
On the score sheet was Latif Blessing, who couldn't help but express his happiness at the end of the game.
“ I’m really happy with my performance ... , the goal I shot to goal it hit the defender but I was shooting to goal.”,
Latif's goal was deflected in by Share O'Neal to give LAFC a 2-0 lead ahead of 2nd half.
Both teams came back full force in the second half hoping to crash the others dream.
At the 79th minute, the Sounders cut the deficit into half when a cross from Joevin Jones found Will Bruin who tapped in the one goal fro Sounders. This seemed like a big game changer for the Sounders and very alarming threat for LAFC. Another goal could have really affected the outcome.
A little fire build up from this Sounders 1-2 goal but LAFC was quick to cool off the fire and add more fuel of their own.
At the 82nd minute, you guessed it right, Diego Rossi powered a shot past Stefan Frei to add to the lead for LAFC and possibly seal the Sounders fate.
To nail the coffin, another goal hunter that wrote his name on the score sheet was Brian Rodriguez, his goal came in a minute before stoppage time. He was very quick to capitalize on the bad touch from Gustav Svensson and send Stefan Frei the wrong way making it 4-1 for LAFC. What a dance to celebrate!
video from Sounders FC youtube.
LAFC advances to the Quarter finals and will face Orlando City on Friday at 7:30pm on FS1
Photos courtesy of MLS/LAFC