LAFC are into the quarter-finals of the MLS is Back Tournament after a 4-1 victory against the Seattle Sounders. Here are three things we learned.
The rematch of the Western Conference final of 2019 was a very different affair indeed. After losing 3-1 in the Western Conference final, Los Angeles FC defeated the Seattle Sounders 4-1 to advance to the quarter-finals of the MLS is Back Tournament.
LAFC came out ready to play for the two clubs’ first meeting since last October. Diego Rossi got things underway with a successful penalty early on, before Latif Blessing benefited from a deflection to give LAFC a 2-0 advantage at half-time.
In the second half, the Sounders made things interesting when substitute Will Bruin found the back of the net, but the comeback was shortlived as Rossi and Brian Rodriguez added two insurance goals for LAFC.
Here are three things we learned from LAFC’s thumping victory.
3. LAFC show the will to the win
This had the potential to be a disastrous last 15 minutes for LAFC. After Will Bruin scored to bring the Sounders within one goal, it looked as if this match could go to penalties as the Sounders piled on the pressure. At this point in the match, LAFC should have been ahead by at least two goals. They wasted numerous opportunities that came their way to put the result beyond any doubt.
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It was gut-check time for LAFC. But, with the possibility of floundering when it mattered most looming, they showed good fighting spirit to preserve their lead. They did not relent in pressing the Sounders backline and scored two more goals to put the game to bed.
In the knockout rounds of the MLS Cup and U.S. Open Cup, LAFC have yet to reach a final. This has been their kryptonite. For all of their dominance in the regular season, knockout competition has been their Achilles’ heel. Here, though, they showed a will to win that has previously been questioned. It is a big step in the right direction.