On Saturday night the Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) played host to Charlotte FC, MLS’ newest expansion team. This marked the teams first meeting against one another and an opportunity for LAFC to extend their winning streak to a club record six games.
The result? A dominating second half by the Black and Gold resulting in a 5-0 defeat over Charlotte with contributions by four different players in Jesus Murrillo, Jose Cifuentes, Carlos Vela, and Cristian Arango.
LAFC looked like the superior team on the pitch leading the match with the most shots, shots on goal, possessions, tackles won, and expected goals. Despite numbers on paper, it was a tale of two halves as LAFC scored all their goals in the second half.
It was the second consecutive game in which LAFC scored four-plus goals and officially handed them their sixth straight win which is a club record. Most importantly, the victory secured their six-point cushion in the race for Supporters Shield.
Charlotte was able to go into halftime tied at 0-0 thanks to a couple of saves from their goalkeeper Kristijian Kahlina.
However in the second half, Kahlina could not stop LAFC’s firepower as the floodgates opened and the goals kept coming in. Murrillo started it in the 49th minute, out-leaping everyone to put his head on a Diego Palacios pass to make it 1-0.
Cifuentes scored in the 59th minute when Kahlina deflected a corner kick into his path for the easy tap in. In the 73rd minute, Charlotte looked like an expansion team when the backline lost Vela and ultimately beat Kahlina one-on-one to make it 3-0.
A mere three minutes later, LAFC shredded the Charlotte defense with deft passing in the box that Arango slotted in the net for the fourth goal. It was Arango’s 10th goal in his last 11 games.
The fifth goal came in stoppage time when Latif Blessing outraced a defender to a headed pass, Blessing’s shot attempt was saved by Kahlina, but the ball ended up in the net when it deflected off of a Charlotte defender.
The final score surely reflects the depth of LAFC and what they’re able to produce night in and night along with their mercilessness in pursuit of another three points.
“All in all a good night,” said Steve Cherundolo during his post-game presser.
Clearly a humbled Cherundolo but his midfielder Kellyn Acosta was a bit more accurate stating: “We were consistent and clinical in front of goal.”
LAFC will have a quick turnaround with another match on Tuesday night, and an opportunity at another three points at home to remain at the top of the standings.
If the Black and Gold perform with the clinical finishing they displayed in this game, the rear of the league should fear them because at this rate, they’re unstoppable.