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LAFC ousted in US Open Cup at the hands of Portland Timbers

LAFC Portland Timbers
LAFC coach Bob Bradley congratulating Portland Timbers forward Brian Fernandez | Photo by Jorge Galvez for LA Soccer Nation | July 10, 2019

In a lackluster display, LAFC were bounced out of the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals at home vs. Portland Timbers.

As expected, LAFC controlled the match at the start of the first half. They facilitated play well and caused many problems for Portland’s defense.

The home side would get their first chance early in the match as Steve Beitashour saw captain Carlos Vela in space, but mishit a cross towards the Mexican international.

LAFC team photo before U.S. Open encounter vs Portland TImbers | Photo by Juan Contreras for LA Soccer Nation | July 10, 2019

While it seemed like supremacy, LAFC couldn’t carve out any clear cut opportunities. They passed the ball well in tight spaces, but the Timbers defense was up for the task to maintain a clean sheet.

Portland did have counterattacking opportunities, but L.A.’s defense snuffed them out with ease.

The best chance of the game at the time went to the away side in the 28th minute as Cristhian Paredes went just wide off the post with a deflection.

LAFC Portland Timbers
LAFC forward Carlos Vela driving around Portaldn Timbers defender Zarek Valentin | Photo by Juan Contreras for LA Soccer Nation | July 10, 2019

Also, in a span of one minute, LAFC goalkeeper Pablo Sisniega denied Portland two golden opportunities to score on corners from Larrys Mabiala.

LAFC would get another let off as Timbers forward Marvin Loria got through on goal and put a shot wide of the post in the 36th minute.

To sum it up, LAFC were lucky not to be 1-0 down.

They lacked inventiveness in the final third with Diego Rossi and Carlos Vela being rather quiet for such a high stakes match.

The second half started with the same lull as the first. No team created chances and it looked like a stalemate.

LAFC Portland Timbers
Portland Timbers’ Jorge Moreira slide tackling LAFC winger Diego Rossi | Photo by Juan Contreras for LA Soccer Nation | July 10, 2019

Steve Beitashour managed to hit a cross which forced Steve Clark to make a save.

Portland were again denied a goal scoring opportunity as Jordan Harvey made a goal-denying block in the 18-yard box.

The away side finally broke the deadlock in the 84th minute as an errant Jordan Harvey back pass put forward Jeremy Ebobisse through on goal as he fired it past Sisniega to make it 1-0.

Carlos Vela was also through on goal in extra time as a result of a mistake by keeper Steve Clark, but got a knock in the leg by a Portland defender.

LAFC Portland Timbers
LAFC goalkeeper Pablo Sisniega making a brilliant save | Photo by Juan Contreras for LA Soccer Nation | July 10, 2019

The score would stay the same at full-time.

For LAFC, this team was more than capable in winning three trophies this season. They could’ve done a lot more in this match to secure a win, but they couldn’t find a solution to break down a stingy Portland defense.

They were also poor on defense as lapses in possession helped the away side create odd man opportunities on the counter. Portland had the lion’s share of chances and Pablo Sisniega was the man of the match for LAFC.

To make matters worse, they’ll have to play vs. Houston Dynamo on the road on Friday, a 48-hour swing.

While it was a terrible result, expect the MLS’ best team to rebound with a win in the league.

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