The typically sandy, sunny, Utah was a covered in a blanket of white as LAFC had to battle not just road conditions, but a blizzard to try and come away with three points against an already tough Real Salt Lake. After enduring several hours of delays, both teams decided against postponing the match until tomorrow, and wanted to get the match in, despite the tough conditions. A decision LAFC were made to regret in the first half.

The home side wasted no time in putting the pressure on the California outfit, putting Hugo Lloris to the test early. Despite looking good on a few saves early, it wouldn’t be long before RSL found the opener. In the 18th minute a sloppy bit of defending that left Campos twisted up and falling to the ground, led to an easy attempt at goal for Gomez who needed to just beat the keeper for the lead, which he did easily.

It was clear early on that the weather was going to be a massive struggle for the side from Los Angeles, who were playing in their first-ever MLS snow game. Unfortunately for them, it was defender Omar Campos who struggled the most and in the 42nd minute Andres Gomez received a great pass that went over the head of a unaware Campos, giving him yet another great look at goal from close, that he once again converted, to double the lead for the home side.

LAFC clearly needed to get to the halftime break before things got out of hand, but it was a familiar face to really drive home the first half struggles for the black & gold. As time in the first half was winding down, it was former LAFC attacker Chicho Arango who was able to get on the end of a great cross into the box that landed right at his feet as he ran between two defenders. He needed just the tap in for goal number 101, giving his new side the three goal lead going into the break.

In our preview of the match we talked about RSL’s ability to hold onto possession and while nobody expected them to be playing in the midst of a snowstorm, the first half showed just how good Real Salt Lake can be with possession. The home side kept 62% of the ball in the opening 45, getting off more shots (8) and connecting on over 200 passes while LAFC finished the half able to muster just three shots, and just over 100 passes. It was obvious the weather had Los Angeles struggling harder than we have ever seen them in truth. Now, the team had 45 minutes to either continue getting ran out Utah, or put something together to salvage a result.

LAFC came out a lot better in the second half. They were able to settle down, not find themselves in dangerous positions, and even started to pepper the goal in the early stages of the half. Around the 60th minute mark, the subs started to come on as the team looked to fresh legs to try and get something out of this match. From the looks of it, goals were still out there to be had.

With time dwindling away, and no more goals being scored, the result was clear. The mission now was getting out of Utah without injury, and moving on from this match. RSL did see a red card late in the match after Ojeda received his second yellow card. It did not matter as the home side was able to see out the win and the clean sheet, getting the 3-0 win at home. For LAFC, they are headed back to a hopefully sunnier Los Angeles, as they get ready to host Sporting KC. The odds were stacked against them in their first loss of the season, now it’s on them to just shake this one off and not let it fester around for too long.

Thoughts on the road loss? Leave a comment below!

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