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Bouanga, Bogusz elevate LAFC over Minnesota United

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
LAFC hosted Minnesota United in a midweek match pitting the growing conference rivals in a high-stakes battle in the Western standings.

LOS ANGELES — Denís Bouanga scored a first half goal and Mateusz Bogusz added on an insurance goal as LAFC beat Minnesota United, 2-0, in a key Western Conference clash on Wednesday night at BMO Stadium.

LAFC (8-3-4, 27 points) extended their winning streak to six matches over all competitions and have won all six MLS home matches this season. They jumped ahead of the Loons (7-4-3, 25 points) into third place in the Western Conference as the season’s halfway mark approaches.

Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris recorded a league-high fifth straight shutout

“It’s always a collective. It’s making good decisions with the ball when you’re moving forward. Not risking too much in buildup play,” coach Steve Cherundolo said. “At the same time, trying to be effective and control games, control transitions, defend critical areas and defensive organization.”

In the 37th minute, LAFC were awarded a penalty decision when Loons right wing back D.J. Taylor fouled Bouanga in the penalty box. The 2023 MLS Golden Boot winner stepped up to the spot to convert it for a 1-0 lead and collected his 50th LAFC career goal joining Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi as the only LAFC players to reach the milestone.

Bogusz, who scored the winner in their weekend clash against Atlanta United, topped off the scoring as he shot from distance (30-yards) for a goal in the 82nd minute. The result was a reversal of their previous match that Minnesota won 2-0 on March 16.

Bogusz, who was best known as midfielder before joining LAFC, kept his promise from to “keep scoring more goals” and showed his flexibility playing across a variety of positions through the first 15 matches of this season including playmaker, forward and midfielder.

“Doesn’t matter if I play No. 9 or No. 8 because in this position, as No. 9, I have more freedom.” Bogusz said.

As the season reaches its midway point, reflecting on the reasons for the turnaround from the first 10 matches of the season, which revealed a vacuum in leadership and lack of cohesion across the team, Cherundolo pointed to the natural evolution of team chemistry.

“I think it’s always an ongoing trust between coaches and players, players and players,” he said. “As you win, the trust between the group increases.”

LAFC can extend their 485-minute streak without conceding a goal when they host FC Dallas at BMO Stadium at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

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