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LAFC spoil Portland Timbers Home Opener 3-2

LAFC Portland Timbers
LAFC forward Cristian Ramirez celebrates Carlos Vela's goal | Photo by LAFC | June 2, 2019

The Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) headed up north to face the Portland Timbers. The game was special for the Timbers because after a 12-game road streak they were inaugurating their renovated new home.

This mattered little to LAFC who were coming to spoil the party and sweep their matches against the Timbers having beaten them 4-1 at Banc of California Stadium.

LAFC took a 3-2 win extending their unbeaten streak to eight games, and proving once again they are road warriors having won four games on the season tying the Timbers and Montreal Impact for the most on the season.

Like most games it was the captain Carlos Vela who started the scoring, getting his 16th goal in 16 games just six minutes into the match.

LAFC striker Cristian Ramirez celebrates with Carlos Vela | Photo by LAFC | June 1, 2019

Vela took care of a careless pass by goalkeeper Jeff Attinella, and slotted the goal home with his left foot. Vela maintains his lead in the MLS scoring sheet a full six goals ahead of city rival Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Atlanta United’s Josef Martinez.

LAFC continued to keep the pressure on the Timbers searching for their next goal and rewarded in the 34th minute. Diego Rossi beat the defender to a ball in the box from Walker Zimmerman and lashed in his eighth goal of the season.

After starting the season hot, Rossi scoring six goals in the his first six games, Rossi went through a scoreless goal streak of six games.

LAFC winger Diego Rossi after scoring his goal | Photo by LAFC | June 1, 2019

He has now scored twice in the last four games and jumped into third in the goals scored in the MLS.

The rest of the game became a tale of two halves. LAFC was the better team in the first half but the Timbers woke up in the second half.

The Timbers scored their first home goal quickly in the 46th minute, Cristhian Paredes scored on rebound when goalkeeper Tyler Miller deflected the initial shot.

LAFC remained resilient and restored the two goal advantage when Latif Blessing scored in the 54th minute. Blessing redirected a cross with his foot into the net that Attinella had no chance of stopping.

Latif Blessing celebrating his goal alongside his LAFC teammates | Photo by LAFC | June 1, 2019

It was Blessing’s second game in a row scoring a goal and it continued the strong play of the midfield. Blessing, Eduard Atuesta, and Mark-Anthony Kaye have combined for six goals and 16 assists as the strong triumvirate in the middle.

For the rest of the game the Timbers put the pressure back on LAFC and needed everyone of Miller’s five saves to get the winners three points.

The Timbers did manage to make it close again scoring in the 84th minute on a bicycle kick from Brian Fernandez. It was another late goal that LAFC had promised to clean up after their last game.

It was too late for the Timbers to equalize and now LAFC goes into a 10-day break before they start their U.S. Open Cup campaign against Real Salt Lake.

LAFC has a 10 point lead over D.C. United in the Supporters Shield standings, they have the MLS MVP in Carlos Vela, they win at home and on the road. There should no longer be a question after Saturday, LAFC is the best team in the MLS.

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