Match Recap

Recap | LAFC 2-0 Houston Dynamo 12/2/23

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The Los Angeles Football Club advanced to the MLS Cup for the second consecutive season with a 2-0 win over Houston Dynamo FC in the Western Conference Final at BMO Stadium.

Ryan Hollingshead gave LAFC a 1-0 lead just before halftime when he put home the rebound of a Giorgio Chiellini header for his third postseason goal.

The score would stay that way, despite LAFC outshooting the Dynamo 18-10, until the 80th minute when Houston defender Franco Escobar deflected a Diego Palacios cross into his net for an own goal, doubling the LAFC lead.

Goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau made five saves for LAFC, earning his third consecutive clean sheet. Crépeau and the LAFC defense have now not allowed a goal in the last 367 minutes of action, dating back to the 40th minute of the club’s 5-2 win over Vancouver on October 28, with Crépeau making 17 saves in that time.

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LAFC will now look to win their second consecutive MLS Cup title when they take on the Columbus Crew at Lower.com Field in Ohio on Saturday, December 9. That game will kick off at 1 p.m. PT and will be shown live on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV, FOX, FOX Deportes (Spanish), 710 AM ESPN Los Angeles, and 980 AM La Mera Mera (Spanish).

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NEWS & NOTES

  • With tonight’s win, LAFC will return to the MLS Cup for the second consecutive season. LAFC is the 10th team in MLS history to reach the MLS Cup in consecutive seasons, and the first to do so since Seattle won the Western Conference Championship in 2019 and 2020.
  • LAFC will look to become the first team in more than a decade to win consecutive MLS Cup championships. The last team to do that was the LA Galaxy, who won the MLS Cup in 2011 and 2012. The only other teams to win consecutive championships are the Houston Dynamo in 2006 and 2007 and D.C. United in 1996 and 1997.
  • Steve Cherundolo is just the third coach in MLS history to qualify for the MLS Cup in each of his first two seasons as a head coach in this league. He joins Bruce Arena, who did so with D.C. United in 1996 and 1997, the first two seasons of the league, and Seattle’s Brian Schmetzer, who achieved the feat in 2016 and 2017 after being hired midway through the 2016 season. Cherundolo is now 7-0 in MLS postseason matches.
  • From 2018 until 2021, LAFC played seven postseason games and kept just one clean sheet. This season, LAFC has three clean sheets in four playoff games.
  • LAFC has not allowed a goal in the last 367 minutes of action, dating back to the 40th minute of the Round One Game 1 victory over Vancouver on October 28.
  • The club is now unbeaten in seven straight games in all competitions, and unbeaten in their last seven MLS Cup Playoff games dating back to the start of the 2022 postseason.
  • LAFC is 3-0-0 all-time against Columbus, with the last meeting between the two sides coming on May 21, 2022, with LAFC winning 2-0 at Lower.com Field with Carlos Vela scoring the game-winning goal in that game.
  • After not making more than two saves in any of his first five MLS Cup Playoff games, dating back to his time in Vancouver during the 2021 season, Maxime Crepeau has now made at least five saves in each of his last three games, keeping a clean sheet in each.
  • LAFC is now 16-0-3 when scoring first in MLS competitions this year, including 11-0-1 at home. In all competitions this year, LAFC is 22-1-4 when scoring first.
  • Ryan Hollingshead scored the eventual game-winning goal for LAFC just before halftime. He now has three goals during the 2023 postseason, with all three coming at BMO Stadium.
  • Since 2021, 13 of Hollingshead’s 14 goals in MLS competitions have been scored at home.
  • Denis Bouanga saw his six-game goal-scoring streak come to an end. Bouanga, who had a game-high six shots and two shots on goal, had scored 10 goals in during that six-game stretch.
  • Bouanga remains one goal shy of tying Carlos Vela’s record of 38 goals in a calendar year, which he set in 2019.
  • LA’s second goal of the game came via an own goal. This was the second consecutive season in which LAFC took a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference Final via an own goal.
  • LAFC played its record 52nd official game of 2023 tonight. The club has now played 34 regular season games, eight Concacaf Champions League games, four MLS Cup Playoff games, three Leagues Cup games, two U.S. Open Cup games, and one game in the Campeones Cup against Tigres. In those 52 games, LAFC now has 23 wins, 15 losses, and 13 draws while scoring 93 goals and conceding 55.
  • Their opponent in the MLS Cup, the Columbus Crew, has played 45 games this calendar year, seven fewer than LAFC.
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