By Araceli Villanueva // @Aracelv1
The Los Angeles Football Club had the last laugh in an eight-goal thriller as they defeated the LA Galaxy, stamping their ticket to their first-ever Western Conference Final.
Brian Rodriguez moved the ball down the pitch, and rounded a Galaxy defender to send in the shot after a slow start from the home side. But as the script goes, the ball flew over the crossbar.
Carlos Vela scored the two opening goals in the 16th and 40th minutes to solidify LAFC’s lead. Cristian Pavon immediately answered the Golden Boot winner to put the visitors on the board and cut celebrations short before the half.
Dominating with 60.8% possession, the Galaxy quickly forced a spry Tyler Miller to save Giancarlo González’s header from the centre of the box shortly after the restart whistle. The 26-year-old keeper came up huge again in the 53rd minute to retrieve a loose ball after both sides scrambled inside the box to get a touch.
Zlatan leveled the match 2-2 in the 55th minute after the ball slipped through Miller’s legs into the net.
Bradley made a double substitution in the 59th minute that saw Adama Diomande and Walker Zimmerman enter the match in place of Rodriguez and Steven Beitashour. The pair made an immediate impact.
Just when it looked like history would repeat itself, Diego Rossi and Diomande scored back-to-back goals within a two-minute span to revive the Black & Gold’s two-goal lead just ten minutes after the Swede’s equalizing breakthrough.
Rolf Feltscher headed in the finisher off Romain Alessandrini’s free-kick to pull one back for the visitors in the 77th minute.
Three minutes later, Diomande dribbled the ball upfield, completely dismantling the Galaxy’s backline to score his second goal of the night and the club’s game winner, making it 5-3.
The final play fell to the Galaxy who continued knocking on LAFC’s door to keep their playoff hopes alive. Zlatan broke through four minutes into stoppage time to score a goal. But the ref disallowed it – sending the host to the Western Conference Finals.
The Black & Gold will face the Seattle Sounders on Tuesday, October 29 at the Banc of California Stadium. Kickoff is at 7p PST.
Featured Image: LAFC
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