LAFC's "professional" performance: Bouanga makes history, Bogusz scores golazo


Once again, LAFC are looking like trophy contenders.

Behind a fourth straight clean sheet by Hugo Lloris and goals from Denis Bouanga and Mateusz Bogusz, the Black & Gold earned a sixth consecutive victory in all competitions by defeating high-flying Minnesota United, 2-0, Wednesday night at BMO Stadium.

“Forwards are scoring and defenders are defending, and that’s why we have six wins and five clean sheets,” Bouanga told reporters post-match after his side leapfrogged the Loons to move into third place in the MLS Western Conference. “We are happy on both sides, and I think everyone is happy about the results.”

Bouanga milestone, Bogusz blast

Bouanga, last season's MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi winner, opened the scoring late in the first half by drawing a penalty on Minnesota’s D.J. Taylor and converting from the spot with ease. It was his 50th career LAFC goal in 80 games, joining fellow former Golden Boot winners Carlos Vela (50 goals in 64 games) and Diego Rossi (50 goals in 93 games) as the only players in club history to reach that milestone.

“It is an honor to join the team with Diego Rossi and Carlos Vela. They left a mark on this club, so I’m happy that I’m a part of it,” Bouanga said of his goalscoring record. “I arrived here with a lot of intention, and the club and my teammates and the staff have put me in really good conditions, so when you get outside on the field, you can only enjoy each game and score for my team.”

With eight minutes to go, Bogusz rubber-stamped the LAFC victory with a jaw-dropping long-range blast. BMO Stadium erupted as the Polish midfielder reached six goals on the season while securing another three points at home.

“I practice a lot with this type of shooting,” Bogusz said of his stunning goal. “Of course, you always need to have a little bit of luck, but this is my place on the field. When I have the ball, I always try shooting.”

Lloris keeps another clean sheet

But it’s more than just goals contributing LAFC’s recent success. Over the past few games, the defense has been a brick wall, with Lloris setting a new club-record shutout streak after not conceding a goal for 391 minutes in MLS play.

“That’s the value of having a world champion in goal for you,” center back Jesús Murillo said of Lloris' impact on the pitch. “He brings a lot of energy, a lot of experience so that helps our entire back line and we’re enjoying every moment of having him.”

Added head coach Steve Cherundolo: “As you win and your performances improve the trust within the group increases and that's very important. To trust your teammates, to trust your coaches, and so forth. That goes a long way.

“It allows you to play freely. It allows you to rely on your teammates. It allows you to excel in your own area of the field and that's something we've been seeing. This trust has allowed players to perform better individually and anytime you do that, you start to win games.

"There’s still room for improvement, but I was very happy and pleased tonight with the performance," Cherundolo said. "It was professional. It was controlled. At no point in the game did I fear us losing nor did I see Minnesota being dangerous. It was how you need to play at home against a very good team."