Los Angeles Football Club took a step closer to clinching a top-four seed in the MLS Cup playoffs, taking down Austin FC 4-2 on Saturday night in the second-to-last regular season game of the year.
LAFC took the lead in the 13th minute when Timothy Tillman opened the scoring for the visitors, finishing off a feed from Denis Bouanga. Bouanga added a goal on either side of halftime, converting a penalty kick in first-half stoppage time and then adding a second goal in the 54th minute to give him an MLS-best 19 goals on the season, three more than his closest competition.
The Black & Gold enter the final international break with a 14-10-9 record, good for 51 points with one match left in the regular season. During the break five LAFC players will join their respective national teams: Stipe Biuk (Croatia U-21), Maxime Crepeau (Canada), Tony Leone (Mexico U-23), Denil Maldonado (Honduras), Cristian Olivera (Uruguay).
LAFC returns to MLS action on Decision Day, Saturday, October 21, as it closes out the 2023 regular season against the Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place. The match will kick off at 6:00 p.m. PT and will be broadcast on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV, 710 AM ESPN Los Angeles and 980 AM La Mera Mera.
NEWS & NOTES
- Dénis Bouanga had three goal contributions, scoring two goals and adding one assist. He now has 26 goal contributions in MLS play (19 goals and 7 assists) and 45 goal contributions in all competitions (32 goals and 13 assists).
- Bouanga padded his lead in the Golden Boot race adding two goals to bring his total to 19 on the season with one game to go. He has a three-goal lead over FC Cincinnati’s Luciano Acosta.
- For the year, Bouanga now has 32 goals in all competitions. That puts Bouanga in third for most goals in a calendar year in MLS history, jumping ahead of Zlatan Ibrahimovic (31 goals in 2019) Only Carlos Vela (38 goals in 2019), Josef Martinez (35 goals in 2018) have scored more than Bouanga’s 32 goals.
- Midfielder Timothy Tillman opened the scoring for LAFC in the 13th minute with his fourth goal of the season. LAFC is now a perfect 4-0-0 in MLS play when Tillman scores.
- Forward Cristian Olivera rounded out the scoring for LAFC. In his last three games, he now has 13 shots, seven of which have been on target. He has two or more shots in eight of his 10 appearances for LAFC.
- LAFC is 18-1-3 in all competitions in 2023 when scoring first, including 12-0-2 in MLS play. LAFC’s only loss this season when scoring first was on Aug. 11 to Monterrey in the Leagues Cup when they fell 3-2.