MLS: Unbeaten at home, LAFC face tough Minnesota United club

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Minnesota United will put a six-game unbeaten streak on the line Wednesday night when they visit Los Angeles FC in a key Western Conference battle.

The Loons (7-2-4, 25 points) are second in the West, four points behind Real Salt Lake but have two games and a potential six points in hand. LAFC (7-4-3, 24 points) is right behind Minnesota in the standings and has won its last three MLS contests, all by shutouts.

LAFC come in off a 1-0 victory at Atlanta United on Saturday, the 100th victory in team history, tying the Seattle Sounders for the fewest games (206) in MLS history to accomplish that feat. Hugo Lloris made five saves for his third straight clean sheet, extending the team’s MLS shutout streak to 301 minutes, the third longest in franchise history.

Midfielder Mateusz Bogusz scored on a free kick outside the box that clanged in off the crossbar in the 63rd minute for the game-winner at Atlanta. The score came against Atlanta substitute goalie Josh Cohen after starter Brad Guzan was red-carded for a denial of an obvious goal-scoring opportunity.

“It’s huge,” Bogusz said. “I’m very happy that I can be part of this success. Let’s go for 200.”

LAFC is 5-0-2 at home and will be facing a Minnesota team that won the first half of the home-and-home, 2-0, on March 16 in Saint Paul, Minn., in Eric Ramsay’s debut as Loons head coach.

Minnesota is 4-0-2 during its unbeaten stretch. The Loons had a chance at a fifth win on Saturday at Colorado when they jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the first 33 minutes behind a brace by Sang Bin Jeong and a team-leading sixth goal by forward Tani Oluwaseyi. But the Rapids battled back to tie it on second-half goals by Rafael Navarro and Kevin Cabral.

Minnesota goalie Dayne St. Clair saved a penalty kick try by Navarro in the 69th minute and striker Teemu Pukki missed a chance to win it for the Loons in the 87th minute when his sharp-angle shot at an open net hit the post.

“It was chaos,” Ramsay said afterward. “It certainly wasn’t the match that we wanted it to be. I think we leave here happy to have taken a point (but) I would have preferred that we produced a better level of performance.”

–Field Level Media

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