Adama Diomande stole the show in LAFC’s 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Union on Saturday. Diomande scored three times – the first hat trick in club history – in front of the home supporters. Latif Blessing added the fourth late on to cap off a spectacular performance.
“I’m just going into training everyday smiling with my teammates. It’s just a bonus to get that history,” Diomande said.
Bob Bradley made two changes to the starting lineup from their win over Columbus Crew a week ago. Joao Moutinho replaced Jordan Harvey, while Mark-Anthony Kaye slotted into the midfield, pushing Lee Nguyen out wide. Bradley rested Diego Rossi because the Uruguayan was feeling some tightness in his hamstring and wanted to prevent further injury.
“We need to be smart, we’ll see in the next few days how he’s doing,” Bradley said.
If there is one thing that LAFC can take away in this match, it is to play more consistently throughout. Bradley even mentioned that afterwards, saying “In some stretches, I thought our football was really good.”
Adama Diomande Shines, Scores Hat Trick
The former Stabaek striker continued right where he left off from the last match, opening the scoring in the 25th minute. Diomande was released down the right flank with a great through ball from Latif Blessing. Then Dio did all the hard work. He faked to his left, then back to his right before firing low with a right footed effort past Andre Blake.
Laurent Ciman, 37 minutes into this contest, made a run from his own back line to the byline. The captain tried to cut the ball back through the area, but this time, Blake snuffed out the danger at the near post.
LAFC netted their second goal of the match two minutes before the halftime interval through what will probably be Diomande’s easiest goal of the season. Benny Feilhaber received the ball at the top of the area before sliding a pass towards Mark-Anthony Kaye.
Two Union defenders converged on Kaye, which made the decision to pass the ball through the six yard box to Diomande an easy choice. All the Norwegian had to do was to tap the ball into the net, and he did just that.
Philadelphia Claw One Back
Right before the break, Philadelphia was able to cut the lead in half. Marcus Epps delivered a good ball into the area. LAFC’s goalkeeper, Tyler Miller, did well enough to push the initial cross away from goal, but he could have done better as he left a big rebound for Fabrice-Jean Picault to smash home.
Diomande capped off his stellar performance with a third goal, and his seventh in his last five matches, in the 55th minute. Blessing found a waiting Aaron Kovar in space on the right side of the box. Then, Kovar proceeded to swing the ball back the other way. Blessing got a touch on the pass, but it deflected up and Diomande snuck his effort beyond Blake.
With 12 minutes remaining, LAFC thought they had scored their fourth goal of the day. Aaron Kovar smashes a curling shot off the post. It ricochets to Nguyen, who made no mistake finding the back of the empty net. However, the assistant referee had ruled Kovar offside.
LAFC were able to get their fourth goal of the evening deep into stoppage time. Nguyen tried to curl a shot past a diving Blake, but the Philadelphia goalkeeper was up to the task. However, Blake could not corral the ball and Blessing snuck in to finish off the match.
The games are coming in bunches right now. They will hit the road for a game against the Houston Dynamo on Tuesday at the BBVA Compass Stadium. Kick off is set for 6:00 PM.