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Cristian Aranjo leads LAFC past Sporting KC

Sportsnaut
Jul 23, 2022; Kansas City, Kansas, USA; Los Angeles FC midfielder Jose Cifuentes (11) celebrates after scoring a goal against Sporting Kansas City during the second half at Children's Mercy Park. Mandatory Credit: William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

Cristian Aranjo had a goal and an assist and Gareth Bale scored his first MLS goal to lead Los Angeles FC to a 2-0 victory over Sporting Kansas City on Saturday night at Kansas City, Kan.

Bale’s goal came in his second game with Los Angeles. The former star for Real Madrid and Tottenham entered the contest in the 65th minute.

Both LAFC goals came in the second half after longtime Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Tim Melia departed with a right hamstring injury.

Maxime Crepeau made three saves and recorded his sixth shutout of the season for MLS-best LAFC (14-4-3, 45 points). Los Angeles is 7-1-1 over its last nine matches.

Sporting Kansas City (5-13-5, 20 points) are languishing in last place in the Western Conference. SKC are 1-4-1 over their last six matches.

Sporting KC have dropped four straight home matches.

Melia made two saves before departing in the 53rd minute. John Pulskamp replaced him and didn’t make any saves.

Los Angeles had a 13-11 edge in shots and placed five on target to Sporting KC’s three.

Aranjo broke a scoreless tie in the 56th minute, shortly after Pulskamp entered the match.

Kwadwo Opoku passed the ball to his right to Aranjo, who sent the right-footed shot past Pulskamp into the net. It was Aranjo’s team-leading ninth goal of the campaign.

Bale tacked on his goal in the 83rd minute. Aranjo fed Bale the ball and he took a step to his left and sent a left-footed shot that caromed off Pulskamp’s hands and into the net.

Both teams had a big scoring chance in the first half.

Sporting KC’s Erik Thommy, making his MLS debut, sent a right-footed shot just wide right of the net in the 15th minute.

LAFC’s Jose Cifuentes had a stellar opportunity in the first minute of first-half stoppage time but his right-footed shot was cleared away at the goal line by Sporting KC’s Logan Ndenbe.

–Field Level Media