LAFC capitalized on a pair of defensive gaffes in each half to defeat Austin FC, 2-0, Wednesday night, handing the expansion side their first defeat at Q2 Stadium.
Jose Cifuentes punished Brad Stuver for a loose clearance to give LAFC a 1-0 lead in the 39th minute. With Diego Rossi sprinting toward the net to press, Stuver’s attempt to play out of the back was picked off by Kim Moon-Hwan, who received a return pass from Carlos Vela and put his shot on frame. Stuver did well to save that shot, but the ball parried directly to Cifuentes, who buried the rebound.
LAFC celebrated what they believed was their first goal 15 minutes earlier with Vela slotting past Stuver after a pass into the box from Cifuentes. But the goal was called back following Video Review when it was determined Raheem Edwards fouled Alex Ring in the buildup.
Before conceding, Austin FC had a pair of quality chances to score the first goal inside the opening 20 minutes. But Hector Jimenez fired a low shot from distance wide of the far post after Tomas Romero punched away a corner kick in the 12th minute. Kekuta Manneh followed with a near-post attempt Romero did well to dive and parry away for another corner.
Ring nearly leveled in the 74th minute, latching onto a Zan Kolmanic corner kick at the back post. But the Austin FC captain's header from just outside the six-yard box was wide of the frame.
With Austin FC pushing numbers forward in search of an equalizer, LAFC capitalized on another turnover as Vela quickly picked out Rossi, who clinically scored the insurance goal one minute from full time.
- 39’ — LAFC — Jose Cifuentes
- 89’ — LAFC — Diego Rossi
- THE BIG PICTURE: LAFC have won back-to-back games for the first time this season — and they did so on the road, making that feat even more impressive. It’s also a pair of clean sheets away from home. Austin were punished for not being clinical in the attacking third and a pair of sloppy giveaways that led to LAFC goals.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The first big defensive mistake for Austin led to the only goal LAFC would need.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Cifuentes followed up a strong performance against RSL by earning Man of the Match honors in Austin. The Ecuadorian midfielder scored for the second straight match, led the club with 17 duels, played one key pass and won a pair of tackles.
Saturday, July 17 | LAFC vs Real Salt Lake | 10:30 pm ET | My13 KCOP | MLS regular season