Diego Rossi scored his MLS-leading 13th goal of the season, and LAFC officially booked their place in the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs with a 2-1 victory over the 10-man Houston Dynamo on Wednesday night at Banc of California Stadium.
Eddie Segura also scored the eventual match-winner for the hosts, who sit in fourth in the Western Conference with the win and sealed their postseason spot by way of their victory combined with the rival LA Galaxy's loss at the Portland Timbers.
Kenneth Vermeer saved Mauro Manotas' first-half penalty, awarded following one Video Review that spotted a handball on Segura, and Rossi also had a potential second goal waived off for offside in the second half following another review
Ariel Lassiter pulled a goal back just after halftime for the Dynamo, who are winless in their last five and have one victory in their last 12 as they remain beneath the playoff line in 10th place.
Houston went down to 10 men after Matias Vera received his second yellow card in the 59th minute, and then had a potential late, game-tying penalty overturned for offside following the third and final Video Review of the evening.
- 9' - LAFC - Diego Rossi | WATCH
- 22' - LAFC - Eddie Segura | WATCH
- 46' - HOU - Ariel Lassiter | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: While the postseason place was officially secured, the best news of the night may have been Carlos Vela's 30-minute shift off the bench. The 2019 Landon Donovan MLS MVP had also played 20 minutes in LAFC's previous game, his first following an 11-match injury layoff. But there was an additional crispness to this second appearance, which will give LAFC fans plenty of hope that the 2019 version of Vela could return by the postseason.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: With Pablo Sisniega held out as a precautionary measure following a minor knock he took in Sunday's win over the Galaxy, Vermeer was in his first MLS action since August. His first-half penalty save of Manotas proved vital.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Diego Rossi continued his most productive MLS season to date, no small feat considering the three games he was forced to miss due to duty with the Uruguay national team. He has yet to go more than two consecutive league appearances without scoring a goal in 2020.