Bouanga’s late goal launches LAFC past FC Dallas

(Henry Tran-The Sporting Tribune)
LAFC scored a 1-0 victory over FC Dallas extended LA’s winning streak to seven games across all competitions Saturday evening.

LOS ANGELES — A Saturday night with LAFC is anything but quiet.

While fireworks went off on the field pregame and were heard in neighborhoods near BMO Stadium, the crowd of 22,105 were leading chants for most of the night.

While there was so much going on, it felt as if all the action was happening everywhere but the pitch during LAFC’s 1-0 victory over FC Dallas, extending LA’s winning streak to seven games across all competitions .

Until Denis Bouanga did what Denis Bouanga does best. Score.

“We came out in the second half, not in a great manner. But after (the goal) I think we had things under control and finished the game in a way I thought was clever,” LAFC coach Steve Cherundolo said.

Bouanga received the ball at the top of the box from Mateusz Bogusz and outran everyone else before sending a right-footed shot past Dallas goalkeeper Maarten Paes for the only goal in the 74th minute.

”It was a perfect pass,” Bouanga said. “We had seen that there was spacing between the two defenders and we actually talked about it at halftime so I knew that he would try and get that pass and that I just had to go fast up the middle.”

Prior to the game-winning goal, LAFC was not very productive on offense, as they finished with 19 shots compared to FC Dallas’ nine.

However, LA’s defense extended the club’s scoreless streak to 574 minutes across all competitions, marking the LAFC’s fifth straight shutout in MLS play.

”We wanted one more game, we knew we needed 95 minutes to continue the win streak and shut out streak.” LAFC centerback Aaron Long said afterwards. “To get both of those tonight is huge, something that the whole club can be really quite proud of,” 

LAFC leftback Omar Campos, playing in his first MLS season after transferring from Liga MX’s Santos Laguna in January, said he finally feels comfortable in the backline.

“I struggled to get acclimated the first few matches, I came from a league that plays way differently but little by little I became acclimated and now we have gone six games without getting scored on,” Campos said. 

Beginning Sunday, the MLS will take the next two weeks off because of FIFA international dates, but Cherundolo isn’t worried about the break coming at the wrong time while his team is on a winning streak.

“Well, the momentum stops tonight and that’s ok,” Cherundolo said. “Players who are here will get some rest, well needed and deserved rest.

“Those going on international hopefully go away and are successful and come back in a healthy manner.”

Next, LAFC will visit Orlando City SC at 4:30 p.m. on June 15.