Two goals within four minutes of an action-packed first-half, from a red-hot Adama Diomande and from Latif Blessing, gave LAFC what they needed, as the expansion team sent Orlando City SC to a ninth straight defeat, 4-1, on Saturday night at Banc of California Stadium.
Orlando hit a hurdle midway through the first half, when captain Jonathan Spector came off with injury and had to be replaced by Chris Schuler. Shortly after, LAFC turned up the offensive heat, resulting in Diomande's and Blessing's quick-succession goals.
Orlando looked more lively to start the second half, though an apparent Diomande goal against the run of play was ruled offside in the 54th minute. Five minutes later, Sacha Kljestan scored OCSC's first goal in 330 minutes to close the gap. In the 72nd minute, it appeared as if Dom Dwyer had brought the Lions level, but that goal was disallowed after Video Review. As in the first half, LAFC got two quick second-half goals: Diomande's second, on a corner kick, and a dagger from Diego Rossi, playing a supersub role along with Carlos Vela.
The match, originally scheduled for Saturday afternoon, was moved to the late start time to avoid triple-digit temperatures in the LA metro area; the kickoff was at a relatively temperate 88 degrees.
- 28' – LAFC – Adama Diomande | WATCH
- 32' – LAFC – Latif Blessing | WATCH
- 59' – ORL – Sacha Kljestan | WATCH
- 82' – LAFC – Adama Diomande | WATCH
- 84' – LAFC – Diego Rossi | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: LAFC's win extends their home unbeaten streak to eight matches and places them firmly in a three-horse race in the West with FC Dallas and Sporting Kansas City. For Orlando City SC, it's a ninth straight loss for the club, spoiling new coach James O'Connor's debut, and sending their playoff hopes into further doubt.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Diomande's second goal, a bizarre quasi-bicycle kick (off a corner kick) that arced highly and wildly before barely crossing the line, dashed any hopes for an OCSC comeback. It also brought the brace that seemed inevitable given Dio's authoritative first half.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Tyler Miller had some amazing saves throughout the game to help LAFC finish with the lopsided scoreline, but it's hard not to hand this honor over to a player who now has nine goals in his first seven matches. Turns out he's in some distinguished company.
3 - Adama Diomande has now scored multiple goals in three of his eight @mls appearances. @Ibra_official (14 apps), Miguel Almiron (20 apps) and @JosefMartinez17 (20 apps) are the only other @MLS players with three+ multigoal games this season. Elite.— OptaJack⚽️ (@OptaJack) July 8, 2018