LAFC remained home for the second of their two-match home stand, this time hosting the Vancouver Whitecaps. The visitors came into this one not having won on the road yet this season, as they looked to hold on to one of the last postseason spots, as we hit just over halfway through the season. LAFC however, were aiming to stay atop the Western Conference and re-establish some confidence heading into All-Star weekend.

Typically, scoring early is one of the best ways to not only take control of a match, but for a team looking to find any positives on the road, it’s a great way to inject some confidence into the side immediately. That is exactly what the Whitecaps did, taking a page out of LAFC’s book, scoring in the opening minutes. Taking advantage of a corner kick, Ranko Veselinoviฤ‡ got just enough with his glancing header to get it past the keeper and into the back of the net for the early lead.

Things took a real turn for the worst for the black & gold just twenty minutes later. It was another header, this time on the counter-attack, and courtesy of Brian White. The goal doubled the lead for Vancouver and sent a wave of silence, albeit briefly, throughout BMO Stadium.

Luckily for Los Angeles, they are experienced. They didn’t let the deficit defeat them, and were able to cut it in half before the break. As the first half came to a close, LAFC got in one last attack that worked out beautifully, with them nearly coming away with a great display of passing and finishing, but the original shot was saved. Denis Bouanga wasn’t letting that slide, and was right there for the follow-up to give his side a much needed goal before halftime.

Vancouver went into the halftime break with the slight lead, but feeling in full control. LAFC were fortunate to get the goal before half, but in truth the team struggled to find ways to get past the Whitecaps defense. Still, Los Angeles are a team that are known for stronger second halves, and have been in this situation plenty of times before, a result was still expected and three points were still very much possible.

After an even start to the second half, the two sides began taking a bit more chances, trying to find more goals in the match. There ย was definitely more to be had, and it was Vancouver who found one first in the 63rd minute. Bounces went the way of the Whitecaps on the sequence, and even after a great save from McCarthy on the original attempt, it was Ryan Gauld who cleaned it up and extended the lead back up to two goals with just under 30 minutes left in regulation.

Los Angeles had an immediate response. After not getting rewarded with a penalty on what they felt was a handball, the ball seemed to offer up some karma, bouncing perfectly for the home side to find a goal of their own. LAFC newcomer Bogusz got on the end of it, and served up a perfect pass to Carlos Vela who didn’t hesitate with the tap to finish it off, bringing them back within a goal.

Despite a late push, LAFC couldn’t overcome the early deficit combined with a fiery Vancouver side that just were not about to lose another match on the road. Make no mistake, this was an upset, as it snaps the budding win streak LAFC were cooking up. The loss is just another in several that have been head scratchers for Los Angeles, who despite being one of the better teams in the league, have looked very vulnerable at times this season. The team get a week’s rest this time, before heading out on the road to take on FC Dallas.

 

Thoughts on the loss tonight? Leave a comment below!

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