Trailing 3-1 after halftime, the defending Supporters’ Shield holders halved the deficit in the 63rd minute via Diego Rossi. The Uruguayan collected a throughball wide right, and then rifled high and past Marko Maric into the far-side netting.
The comeback was completed in the 69th minute via Brian Rodriguez, his first for the club since joining from Peñarol last summer. Rodriguez was slipped in by Latif Blessing after a broken set piece, and then slotted underneath Maric.
The first half tilted in Houston’s favor as led by a Memo Rodriguez brace. The Homegrown winger scored in the 9th and 30th minutes, sandwiching a Bradley Wright-Phillips tap-in during the 19th minute of the veteran’s LAFC debut. Memo’s first was a knuckling shot to the near post, and the second was a follow-up effort after a Zarek Valentin cross.
Holding a 2-1 lead, Houston added another just before halftime. Alberth Elis headed home a Darwin Quintero free kick in the fifth minute of stoppage time, with the goal awarded after Video Review reversed an incorrect offside call.
- 9' – HOU – Memo Rodriguez | WATCH
- 19' – LAFC – Bradley Wright-Phillips | WATCH
- 30' – HOU – Memo Rodriguez | WATCH
- 45+5' – HOU – Alberth Elis | WATCH
- 63' – LAFC – Diego Rossi | WATCH
- 69' – LAFC – Brian Rodriguez | WATCH
Man of the Match presented by Heineken
Memo Rodriguez looked ever-so confident during the first half, knuckling his opener past Kenneth Vermeer and then scoring another via sheer determination. He was particularly lively before exiting in the 64th minute for youngster Nico Lemoine.
- THE BIG PICTURE: LAFC showed they can still score in bunches without Carlos Vela, though Bob Bradley’s team allowed three goals for the second straight match. That latter fact will cause some concern, especially ahead of this weekend’s El Trafico match. As for Houston, they continue to find their identity under head coach Tab Ramos. They ceded possession and scored at a blistering pace in the first half, then fizzled out.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Brian Rodriguez’s equalizer not only helped LAFC avoid defeat, but it could spark his Black & Gold career. The Uruguay international frustratingly hadn’t scored or assisted in his prior nine regular-season matches.
- YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: Adama Diomande was subbed off in the 77th minute, a short 17 minutes after he originally entered for Bradley Wright-Phillips. He suffered a right foot injury, the same foot he broke in preseason, meaning LAFC’s striker depth could be tested even further. That's all compounded by Carlos Vela withdrawing from the competition.
Diomande left the field in a boot on his right foot. Hopefully it’s not bad. 🤞🏼 #LAFC— Nico Cantor (@Nicocantor1) July 14, 2020