MLS: LAFC strike early, go on to blank Earthquakes

Stipe Biuk scored on the first shot of the game and Carlos Vela added a goal from the penalty spot in second-half stoppage time as Los Angeles FC blanked the visiting San Jose Earthquakes 2-0 on Saturday night.

Biuk opened the scoring in the third minute for Western Conference-leading LAFC (7-1-4, 25 points), who have won four of their last seven games.

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That 1-0 advantage held for the entirety of the match, and Los Angeles was then presented with the chance to seal the victory when San Jose’s Tanner Beason was called for a hand ball two minutes into second-half stoppage time.

Vela stepped up to the spot in the 95th minute and converted a left-footed shot, putting it into the bottom right corner for his fourth goal of the season.

JT Marcinkowski made five saves for the Earthquakes (5-5-3, 18 points), who have now dropped back-to-back matches, with both setbacks coming against Los Angeles opponents. San Jose lost 2-1 to the LA Galaxy last Sunday.

The Earthquakes had a chance to level the match ahead of Vela’s dagger when Cristian Espinoza was on the receiving end of a cross from Tommy Thompson in the 91st minute. However, Espinoza’s shot missed to the right, and San Jose never had another chance to get on the board.

Despite being blanked, the Earthquakes still managed 14 shots compared to Los Angeles’ 15. However, LAFC put more shots on goal, recording six. San Jose put three shots on target.

Los Angeles held 56.5 percent of possession, while the Earthquakes held 43.5 percent. LAFC also had a major advantage in corners, getting 15 compared to the Earthquakes’ seven.

Jose Cifuentes recorded an assist for LAFC, who will play their third consecutive home game when they host Atlanta United on June 3. San Jose will host FC Dallas next Saturday.

–Field Level Media

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