Christian Ramirez put on a show in front of the LAFC supporters on Wednesday. He scored the only two goals in their 2-0 win over Real Salt Lake, breaking a five game winless streak.
“I’m just glad that we won and that’s the most important thing,” Ramirez said after the match.
We are getting into the stretch of the season where every point is critical. When you take a look at the Western Conference standings, it is tight throughout. Spots 1-5 are separated by five points, while six through nine in the standings have just a six point differential. And with 10 matches remaining, there could still be tons of movement in the table.
Bob Bradley, known for heavily rotating his squads, made a number of changes ahead of the match against RSL. In all, the head coach made ten changes. One of the alterations saw Ramirez make his first start for LAFC.
Ramirez Shines for LAFC in the First Half
Nine minutes into the contest, the new striker showed why he was so sought after. Carlos Vela sent a dangerous ball into the area. Then, Ramirez headed the ball downwards and past Nick Rimando. The joy was short lived, though, as the assistant referee blew the play dead.
But the early pressure paid off 13 minutes into the contest when Ramirez found the back of the net. Vela split the RSL defense with an exquisite pass into the stride of Ramirez before chipping his shot expertly past Nick Rimando.
Only a quarter of an hour elapsed when the Garden Grove native doubled LAFC’s advantage. Eduard Atuesta combined with Jordan Harvey from deep down the left side of the flank. The 21-year-old continued his run into the box cut the ball back towards the middle. Ramirez was left wide open and he calmly tapped his shot into the empty net.
Professional Second Half from LAFC
The second 45 minutes saw good composure from Bradley’s side. They were never really pressured from Real Salt Lake and did have a couple of opportunities to extend their advantage.
Bradley reiterated his desire for that composure after the match saying, “Before the game I challenged for more concentration, more intensity, more helping each other on the field, more leadership, all those things. And then at halftime I said, today we need a shutout.”
RSL’s big moment came 65 minutes into the proceedings. Sebastian Saucedo, a native of the San Fernando Valley, sliced his effort goal bound. LAFC’s Tyler Miller, though, was up to the task and pushed the shot well out of harm’s way.
Diego Rossi’s initial cross ten minutes later deflected straight at the Mexican international, Vela. He took the attempt on the half volley and saw it get blocked by Andrew Putna’s legs.
LAFC continue their homestand through the weekend. On Sunday at 7:00 PM, they will take on the Colorado Rapids at the Banc of California Stadium.