While SKC dominated first-half possession, keeping the ball over 60 percent of the time, neither team generated much offense from the run of play. LAFC generated the lone goal of the opening 45 on a corner kick. In the 18th minute, Atuesta sent in a ball just right for heading, and Fall rose to meet it for his first-ever MLS tally.
Though Bryce Duke couldn't double LAFC's lead with his 29th-minute strike from beyond the 18, it deserves a place in the highlight reel for the season's best near-misses. His shot knuckled wickedly toward goal but ended up just on the wrong end of the far post. Alan Pulido, not called up by Mexico for the opening round of Concacaf World Cup qualifiers and thus available for MLS duty, provided SKC's lone shot on goal in the opening 45.
In the 55th minute, the complexion of the match changed via an Espinoza foul on Arango. Video Review revealed the severity of what happened: Espinoza grabbed Arango's jersey and then stepped on his ankle, and that was deemed worthy of a red card.
On a set piece in the 61st minute, with SKC still adjusting to being a man down, Atuesta set up for a long free kick and found Fall's head once again, making it a brace for the young Senegalese defender.
Arango had a chance to make it three in the 66th minute, getting a 1-on-1 with Tim Melia, but the veteran keeper held his ground. Five minutes later, though, "Chico" got on the scoresheet when LAFC pushed numbers into the box, taking a deft pass from substitute Danny Musovski and finishing it with authority.
It appeared that Ilie Sanchez had pulled one back for the visitors via an 80th-minute set piece, but to round out the Not Their Night quality of the match, it was ruled offside.
Then, to compound the pain, Melia felled Musovski on a 1-v-1 and got hit with the yellow card and a point to the spot. Atuesta converted the ensuing PK to finish SKC off.
- THE BIG PICTURE: While no one was ready to count LAFC out, even though they started Friday night 11th place in the West, this massive win over one of the top teams in the West gives them new life. It happened without Carlos Vela and not only without Diego Rossi, but in the opening throes of life after Rossi. And though his loan to Turkey's Fenerbache doesn’t make a playoff run easier, LAFC showed a next-man-up mentality. This loss was bad for SKC, but whether it’s an anomaly or continuation of a worrying trend depends on how you look at draws. This makes four straight winless matches yet only the first loss in their last seven matches.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The red card wasn’t exactly a momentum shifter, as LAFC were on the front foot for most of the 11 v. 11 portion of the match. But it certainly blew open what was a cagey 1-0 affair before that.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Atuesta had an all-around solid match with results to show, but Fall (who goes by Mbacke on his jersey) stood out with a pair of goals on a night he’ll never forget.