LAFC in West final with 1-0 win over Sounders
Posted on: 27 Nov, 2023 at 05:19 AM
Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Golden Boot Award winner Denis Bouanga scored and goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau made seven saves as Los Angeles FC defeated the host Seattle Sounders 1-0 Sunday night in the Western Conference semifinals.
Third-seeded LAFC will play host to No. 4 Houston on Saturday in the conference final.
The Sounders had a league-record 19-game home unbeaten streak snapped (17-0-2) dating to 2014.
LAFC scored the lone goal on the counterattack in the 30th minute. From just shy of midfield, Timothy Tillman sent a pass ahead for Cristian Olivera, who stepped over the ball and let it go for Bouanga, who was alone on the left wing. Bouanga drove nearly to the top corner of the 6-yard box before blasting a shot over Seattle goalie Stefan Frei's left shoulder and into the far side netting. It was Bouanga's fourth goal of the postseason.
Crepeau made two sterling saves in the opening five minutes to keep the game scoreless.
He made a diving stop at the left post on a 20-yard shot by Josh Atencio in the third minute.
A minute later, Seattle's Jordan Morris got a step on defender Giorgio Chiellini and dribbled into the penalty area. Crepeau charged off his line and slid toward Morris, with the former trying to chip the ball over the goalie from about 15 yards out. Crepeau reached his left hand up and swatted away the shot.
Crepeau tipped shots from just outside the penalty area from Alex Roldan and Joao Paulo over the crossbar in the 80th and 81st minutes, respectively.
Crepeau also made a pair of saves in second-half stoppage time, tipping an Albert Rusnak shot over the crossbar and diving to stop a header from Jackson Ragen at the left post.
Rusnak put a 15-yard shot into the net in the 88th minute, but it came just after teammate Raul Ruidiaz was called for a hand ball.
--Field Level Media