In his first game as a starter since his arrival in MLS, Gareth Bale put on the dark glasses, along with Carlos Vela and LAFC lost 4-1 at home to Austin FC, in an early playoff match between the top two places in the Western Conference.
The home team came out to eat the rival and started by biting the rival all over the field, then, they put their foot down and in the beginning of the second half they found themselves with two goals in three minutes by Maximiliano Urruti, with serious errors in the defense, while the Italian international, Giorgio Chiellini, was waiting on the field.
It was the second consecutive defeat for the “Black & Gold” team, after a streak of five consecutive victories where they looked unstoppable. Now, the team from Los Angeles is a different team, possibly due to overconfidence or fatigue from a physically exhausting tournament.
Although LAFC has already qualified for the playoffs with 57 points, they have cut their lead to nine points over Austin, who will start the day with 51 points.
Concert of Angelino errors
After a start with little action in the first half, in the 33rd minute, Austin opened the scoring with a great goal by Diego Fagundez on a set piece, after LAFC lost a ball in midfield and Eddie Segura cut the play with a strong foul.
That’s how they went to the break and at the start of the second half, the team from Los Angeles was out of sorts, making terrible mistakes in their defense. First, in the 48th minute, through Maximiliano Urruti, in a set piece, the Argentine defender found a ball on the right flank and connected a header to the far post that took goalkeeper Maxime Crepau out of the play.
Three minutes later, Urruti was again on display, again with a ball lost by the Angelino defense. The defender found a filtered ball and scored in front of Crepaupa for the 3-0 lead.
However, they had no chance to react as they were beaten 4-0 in the 59th minute. Another terrible mistake in midfield, Austin set up his counter, Jess Murillo ended up on the turf presumably with a terrible pain in his waist due to the feint he received and Sebastin Driussi scored the 4-0.
At that moment, coach Steve Cherundolo reacted by removing from the field a Bale who barely touched the ball and Murillo, who gave himself in the last two goals, until then Chiellini entered the field. The changes worked immediately, as the team stood better on the field and achieved a change of pace that the Welshman could not find.
Kwadwo Opoku came on, overflowed immediately down the left and in a ball rejected by the backline, allowed the arrival of Christian Arango, who scored the discount at 61′ for the visitors.
In the final stretch of the match, Arango had the second for his team, when he found a filtered pass that left him one-on-one with the goalkeeper. However, his shot hit the post and went wide. The Colombian claimed a pull on his arm by his marker and, although the replay showed a possible foul, the VAR did not intervene.
With the result, LAFC remains the best team in MLS with 57 points, to 51 for Austin, which is second in the Western Conference. Meanwhile, in the East, Philadelphia Union remains as the best with 51 units.