LAFC continued their attacking resurgence with a 4-2 win over Austin in their penultimate match before the playoffs season with the MLS Golden Boot leader Dénis Bouanga scoring twice to extend his MLS lead to 19 goals this season as they neared a guaranteed place in the top 4 of the Western Conference standings and eliminated Austin from the playoffs.
It was Bouanga’s fifth multi-score match of the season, second only to Carlos Vela’s seven in 2019. “I couldn’t be more proud of this group the last three weeks or so,” Steve Cherundolo beamed after his team’s triumph.
“The guys deserve all the credit in the world because they put in the hard work on the training field, in the video room, taking critique in the right manner and applying the right solutions.” All season long, Cherundolo has preached patience while LAFC struggled to reach the back of the net consistently, including their four-match goalless streak.
Timothy Tillman started off the scoring in the 13th minute, while Bouanga finished off a penalty kick just before halftime. Next, Bouanga made it 3-0 in the 54th minute and Cristian Olivera gave LAFC a four-goal lead in the 68th minute. But, Leo Väisänen scored his first Austin goal in the 75th and then an own-goal from Giorgio Chiellini’s own goal in second-half stoppage time left LAFC with a 2-goal margin of victory. In his last three games, Olivera had 13 shots, seven of which have been on target. LAFC has a total of nine goals in two games this week after a 5-1 victory over Minnesota on Wednesday.
After an international break, LAFC close out their regular season on Decision Day, Saturday, October 21, as it closes out the 2023 regular season against the Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place.