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Denis Bouanga, LAFC double up Galaxy in El Traffico

Sep 16, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA;  Los Angeles FC forward Denis Bouanga (99) scores a goal past Los Angeles Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathan Bond (1) off a pass by Los Angeles Galaxy forward Michael Barrios (12) in the first half at BMO Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Denis Bouanga scored two goals, including the tiebreaking tally in the 75th minute, to lead host Los Angeles FC to a 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy in the latest installment of the El Trafico rivalry on Saturday night.

Ryan Hollingshead and Timothy Tillman also scored as LAFC (12-9-7, 43 points) halted a three-game losing streak and split the season series 2-2.

Billy Sharp and Maya Yoshida scored for the Galaxy (7-11-9, 30 points), who lost for just the second time in their last 13 MLS matches (5-2-6).

Bouanga scored the decisive goal due to a shaky defensive effort by the Galaxy’s Chris Mavinga.

Mavinga sloppily tapped a pass back toward Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathan Bond and Bouanga easily got to the ball first. He then booted it into the net for his 14th goal of the season to tie for the MLS lead with two others.

In the 84th minute, LAFC scored an insurance goal on a 3-on-2 fast break. Mario Gonzalez fed the ball to his right to Tillman, who ripped a right-footed shot past Bond for his third goal of the season.

LAFC outshot the Galaxy 14-5 and placed nine shots on target to LA’s two.

Bond made five saves while LAFC counterpart Maxime Crepeau had none.

LAFC struck first in the 24th minute when Diego Palacios sent a left-footed cross to Bouanga, who headed the ball off the hand of Bond and into the net.

One minute later, the Galaxy answered as Diego Fagundez sent a short pass to Sharp, who knocked a right-footed shot into the net for his third goal of the season.

LAFC moved back ahead in the 33rd minute. Carlos Vela passed the ball to Hollingshead, who sent a left-footed shot inside the near post. It was Hollingshead’s fourth goal of the season.

LAFC had a chance to take a 3-1 lead but Bond made a huge save in the 44th minute on Ilie Sanchez’s right-footed blast.

Bond made big saves on right-footed shots by Mateusz Bogusz and Cristian Olivera in the first six minutes of the second half and Vela sent a header over the next in the 54th minute.

Five minutes later, the Galaxy took advantage of the LAFC missed opportunities. Tyler Boyd headed a cross over to Yoshida, who headed the ball into the net for his first MLS goal to tie the score.

–Field Level Media