Denis Bouanga's brace boosts LAFC over Orlando City

League: MLS


Posted on: 16 Jun, 2024 at 03:43 AM

Credit: Morgan Tencza-USA TODAY Sports

Denis Bouanga scored his 11th and 12th goals of the season and streaking Los Angeles FC pulled away late for a 3-1 road victory against struggling Orlando City on Saturday night.

Mateusz Bogusz added his seventh goal of the year to put the visitors in front for good on a night they saw their five-match shutout streak end, but they still earned their sixth consecutive victory.

The win moved second-place LAFC (10-4-3, 33 points) within a point of Western Conference leaders Real Salt Lake, who settled for a 0-0 draw at Montreal on Saturday.

Martin Ojeda leveled the match 11 minutes before Bogusz's tally for Orlando (4-8-5, 17 points), which is winless in its past four matches (0-3-1) and has only won once at home all season (1-5-3).

Facundo Torres missed a penalty kick with a chance to give Orlando a first-half lead before Bouanga converted from the spot for his first goal of the night.

Orlando put the pressure on for much of the second half and was rewarded when Ojeda hit a crisp first-time volley past Los Angeles goalkeeper Hugo Lloris after running onto Luis Muriel's ball over the top.

But as the hosts then pressured for a season-turning victory, they fell apart on the counter.

First, Bogusz ran onto Bouanga's feed just on the attacking side of the midfield stripe. But the pacey attacker had a lot to do, outracing a duo of sprinting Orlando defenders before hammering a finish over goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar's shoulder from a tight angle.

Then Bouanga bobbed and weaved through the box on another counter before hammering in his second goal of the evening in the 86th minute.

Torres and Bouanga both earned their spot kicks themselves.

Torres used his body to shield the ball from an overly aggressive challenge from Eduard Atuesta in the 32nd minute. But the Uruguayan sent his penalty well above the crossbar.

Then Bouanga's diagonal run with the ball induced a late sliding challenge from Cesar Araujo, setting up a decisive penalty driven down the middle as Stajduhar dove to his left.

--Field Level Media