Vela, LAFC stay red hot, downing FC Dallas
Carlos Vela continued his early-season onslaught with his 13th goal of the season, and LAFC controlled proceedings through their 2-0 victory over visiting FC Dallas at Banc of California Stadium on Thursday night.
Vela also combined with Adama Diomande to set up Diego Rossi for a late second tally, snapping a six-match scoreless streak for the Uruguayan. Rossi’s seventh goal of the season was allowed following video review, after Diomande was initially ruled offside in the buildup.
Los Angeles (9-1-3, 30 points) moved five points clear atop the Western Conference and Supporters’ Shield standings with their second straight win.
Meanwhile, Vela kept up his potentially historic scoring pace. At this rate, he would finish with 34 goals, surpassing the MLS record of 31 scored by Atlanta’s Josef Martinez last season.
Dallas (5-5-2, 17 points) were held without an attempt on target in their third straight defeat while seeing their already substantial injury woes grow.
Attacker Michael Barrios exited shortly after halftime, after he had been examined for a head injury following a ferocious collision with LAFC goalkeeper Tyler Miller in first-half stoppage time.
Los Angeles had the majority of the early chances and nearly led after 10 minutes, when Vela’s free kick curled over the wall and struck the crossbar with keeper Jose Luis Gonzalez out of reach.
The warning shots on Dallas’ goal continued, and eventually Vela hit the target in the 39th minute after settling Eduard Atuesta’s incisive pass with his first touch inside the penalty area. After a quick second touch, the 30-year-old Mexican curled a trademark left-footed strike beyond the diving Gonzalez and into the lower left corner.
Dallas grew into the match after halftime, at least in comparison to the opening 45 minutes, but LAFC still looked the more likely team to score after the break.
Diomande smashed Latif Blessing’s deflected cross wide of the left post in the 67th minute from the penalty spot, and four minutes later, Rossi narrowly missed wide on the other side of goal following Vela’s layoff.
LAFC finally notched their second in the 83rd minute, when Vela sprung Diomande down the left, and with Gonzalez charging, Diomande played Rossi for a tap-in finish.
The victors finished with a 27-7 advantage in shots, putting six on goal.
–Field Level Media