A pair of European internationals — Belgian defender Laurent Ciman and Norweigan forward Adama Diomande — each scored within the first eight minutes of the match, leading LAFC to a 2-0 win over Columbus Crew SC on Saturday night at Banc of California Stadium.
Ciman — in his first match back to the squad since being a potential injury replacement for the Belgium team currently shining in the group stages of the 2018 World Cup — opened the scoring with a free kick goal in the 4th minute. Four minutes later, Diomande pulled himself back onside to meet a Lee Nguyen pass, slotting it home for his fourth goal in as many matches.
Crew SC's first-half frustrations carried through to the second half — an apparent 69th minute goal to bring them into the match was ruled offside, and was their best-looking chance on a night where they could only put a single shot on frame.
- THE BIG PICTURE: For Crew SC, losing in L.A. makes it five straight winless matches. Though they remain in the playoff mix, the mid-season swoon could be a concern, though they get to right the ship at home next week, where they've gotten results in 8-of-10 matches. For LAFC, the win gets them to third in the West, remarkable given that they're in their first season. (And, today, they did it with one of their designated players scoring a goal for country rather than club.)
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: If you were late getting to your seat, you missed it: Ciman's free kick whizzed through the wall and skipped into goal with just 190 seconds off the clock. It most definitely put LAFC on the front foot, which Diomande made evident just moments later.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Though there are a few LAFC candidates to choose from, Benny Feilhaber gets the nod here. He won the free kick to set up the opening goal, was credited (along with Nguyen) for assisting on the second, and troubled Crew SC's defense throughout.