LAFC overpower Vancouver Whitecaps in CCL first-leg rout

LAFC-Vancouver CCL 4.5.23

LAFC have one foot in the Concacaf Champions League semifinals, riding another electric performance from Dénis Bouanga to a 3-0 first-leg quarterfinal rout of Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BC Place on Wednesday evening.

LAFC exploded for all three goals during a 10-minute span in the second half, with Bouanga scoring two of them and assisting on the other. It was a ballistic sequence for the red-hot winger, who unleashed an unstoppable distance golazo in the 55th minute to open the scoring, and notched an authoritative left-footed finish after some nifty maneuvering in the box in the 65th minute.

In between those two, Kwadwo Opoku also found a goal for LAFC in the 61st minute with an open-net tally that was aided by a poor giveaway from the Whitecaps deep in their end.

That second-half barrage powered the one-sided result and puts LAFC squarely in the driver's seat of the quarterfinal series, which moves to BMO Stadium in LA on Tuesday, April 11.


  • 55' - LAFC - Dénis Bouanga | WATCH
  • 61' - LAFC - Kwadwo Opoku | WATCH
  • 65' - LAFC - Dénis Bouanga | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: This match followed essentially the same formula as the first leg of LAFC's Round of 16 series against Costa Rican side Alajuelense: A scoreless opening 45 minutes, followed by a three-goal second half that saw Bouanga flat-out take over the game. It won't quite be cruise control for the Black & Gold for the second leg at BMO Stadium, but with three road goals and the clean sheet in their pocket, it would take something historic from the Whitecaps to flip this series. If results hold, we also could get an MLS Cup 2022 rematch in the CCL semifinals as both LAFC and Philadelphia Union (1-0 over Liga MX's Atlas) are in the clear at this stage.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: This opener from Bouanga was truly a sight to behold, and seemingly came from nothing. Check out the placement and movement on this shot from some 30 yards out.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Bouanga has been on another level in this continental tournament, with this brace and assist bringing him up to five goals and one assist in CCL play after posting a hat-trick during the first leg of the Alajuelense series.

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