LAFC confirmed its place as a favorite to win the league by eliminating visiting Real Salt Lake 4-1 on Saturday with two goals from Colombian Christian Arango and another from Gareth Bale. The win boosted the Gold and Black team to the top of the Western Conference and MLS overall.
Arango scored in the ninth minute of the match by introducing him from below with a refined touch. Arango converted a superb heeled goal to open the scoring in Salt Lake City.
“It was a reaction, I see the ball and since I turn my back I can see their player on the ground. It was a great goal that happened like that and I’m very happy with it,” the Medellin native said.
“Coming and winning as a visitor is a beautiful thing. We fought for it, wanted the points and celebrated together,” declared Arango, the team’s top scorer. We have a long way to go.”
Real Salt Lake leveled things up three minutes after Sergio Cordova’s shot under goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau.
But four minutes into the equaliser, Kylian Acosta scored from the corner to make it 2-1.
Arango converted in the 60th minute with a first intent touch to make it 3-1 and eleventh for his own account.
“I feel very good, it is a matter of working day in and day out, with the support of every one of my colleagues. We have built as a family and there is still a lot to do,” added Arango.
In 87, Welshman Gareth Bale escaped from the left and took Justin Gladd and goalkeeper Zach McMath to make it 4-1 and second from his MLS personal account.
Bale said this week that he has started “enjoying football again” since arriving at MLS. The 33-year-old signed with LAFC from Real Madrid when his contract with Merengue ran out. Bale is preparing to represent Wales in the World Cup in Qatar, where he will face the United States in the first match.
This is the third straight win on the LAFC Road, which has a 51-point lead over MLS. It was also the fifth win in a row.
“I’m happy with the win and we’re moving forward,” LAFC coach Steve Chirondulo said after the win. “We’ve done our job, it’s a tough August schedule. Any point we can get will be very valuable.”
LAFC faces Charlotte on Saturday, August 13, starting at 7:30 p.m. at Bank of California.
In another result, the Galaxy fell 4-2 at Sporting Kansas City despite two goals from Javier Hernandez. Galaxy is ninth with 30 points, two places behind the playoffs area with 11 league games remaining.
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