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Vela strikes again as LAFC blank Cincinnati


Carlos Vela was kept scoreless until second-half stoppage time, but he eventually added his league-leading eighth tally of the season in LAFC’s 2-0 victory over visiting FC Cincinnati on Saturday night.

Vela also assisted Mark-Anthony Kaye’s second goal of the year as LAFC (6-0-1, 19 points) remained atop the Western Conference.

Tyler Miller needed to made only two saves to keep LAFC’s third consecutive shutout and stretch its overall shutout streak to 325 minutes.

Cincinnati (2-3-2, 8 points) was blanked for a second time in three matches after scoring in each of the first four games of its expansion campaign.

United States international defender Walker Zimmerman exited the match for LAFC with an apparent injury five minutes from full time.

Kaye put LAFC ahead in the 32nd minute on a well-worked corner kick.

Vela believed he’d been fouled in the penalty area in the buildup to the corner, though referee Drew Fischer disagreed. So he trotted to the right corner flag and struck an inswinging service. Kaye met it near the edge of the 6-yard box and sent a header downward, bouncing off the turf and nestling inside the left post.

Kenny Saief and Darren Mattocks were at the root of Cincinnati’s best chances to level the match, with Mattocks forcing Miller into a difficult save just before halftime and Saief narrowly failing to redirect Mattocks’ service goalward in the 60th minute.

Just before halftime, Mattocks got on the ball in a dangerous situation after the pair pressured LAFC into a turnover. But Miller dove at full stretch to deny his effort, which appeared headed inside the right post.

Later, Kendall Waston looked to have an opening at a late equalizer but, after beating Miller to Saief’s service, sent his header well over the bar.

Vela finally sealed it three minutes into stoppage time, getting the better of Waston on the other end before finishing past Spencer Richey. The tally puts him two ahead of teammate Diego Rossi, who entered the weekend second in MLS with six goals.

REUTERS/Field Level Media

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