MLS: LAFC edge Galaxy, take top spot in Western Conference

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Los Angeles FC scored twice in four minutes late in the first half and hung on for a 2-1 win against rival Los Angeles Galaxy in the “El Trafico” matchup on Thursday in Pasadena, Calif.

Kei Kamara and Denis Bouanga were the goal-scorers for LAFC, while Gabriel Pec responded for the Galaxy after halftime.

LAFC (13-4-4, 43 points) extended their unbeaten run to 10 matches (9-0-1) and put them in sole possession of first place in the Western Conference.

The Galaxy (11-4-7, 40 points) had their four-match winning streak end.

The Galaxy controlled possession in the first half, but it was LAFC with the better-quality opportunities.

In the fifth minute, Bouanga was on the left side down low before cutting into the middle, but his shot hit the outside of the net.

LAFC’s Eduard Atuesta had goalkeeper John McCarthy beat in the 14th minute but rang his attempt off the post. Ryan Hollingshead nearly capitalized off a turnover in the 27th minute, but his shot sailed over the net.

By the 37th minute, shot attempts were 8-3 for LAFC.

Riqui Puig was at the heart of the Galaxy’s attempts. In the ninth minute, he maintained possession on a rush for a straight-on shot from distance but was stopped by goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

Lloris snared another attempt by Puig from well outside the box in the 37th minute, and in the fifth minute of first-half stoppage time, Puig’s long-range shot rolled past the left post.

LAFC finally connected off a corner in the 40th minute when Kamara’s header found the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.

Bouanga converted from the spot to double it in the 44th minute. LAFC was awarded the penalty after a video review confirmed Julian Aude fouled Atuesta in the box.

The Galaxy pushed early in the second half and were rewarded in the 56th minute. Miki Yamane got the ball into the box amidst chaos and Pec got the last touch on it in front to cut the deficit in half.

Moments later, Joseph Paintsil nearly pulled the Galaxy level, but his shot from in close grazed over the crossbar.

McCarthy denied Kamara of his second of the match in the 77th minute, snaring another header off a corner.

–Field Level Media

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