Denis Bouanga scored from a tight angle in the 84th minute to give LAFC a 2-1 victory against visiting, 10-man FC Dallas on Saturday night.
Bouanga’s third goal of the season came 11 minutes after defender Nkosi Tafari had improbably leveled the game for the visitors and came only two days after he started for Gabon in a 1-0 home win over Sudan in African Cup of Nations qualifying on Thursday.
He had been officially listed as out for Saturday’s game on the club’s availability reports, but returned in time to dress for the game and entered in the 65th minute.
His goal, on a speculative shot from the left side of the penalty angle that snuck past defender Sebastien Ibeagha’s attempted clearance and then through the legs of goalkeeper Maarten Paes, keeps LAFC (3-0-1, 10 points) perfect three games into their home slate.
Timothy Tillman added his second goal of the season early for the defending MLS Cup and Supporters’ Shield champions. Carlos Vela had a chance to double his early-season tally, but saw his 79th-minute penalty kick slam the crossbar.
Tafari’s equalizer came 38 minutes after Dallas (2-2-1, seven points) was reduced to 10 men when Emmanuel Twumasi was sent off for violent conduct after a video review that found he had raised his arm in the direction of LAFC’s Sergi Palencia.
It came on a rare Dallas foray forward as it tried to stay in the match despite a numerical disadvantage. After a free kick from the left and two glancing headers, Tafari was first to a deflection to poke the ball over the line from about 5 yards out.
Tillman put LAFC in front in just the third minute as Dallas looked rattled during the early stages.
It was a simple goal, with Tillman finding himself on the ball in space on the right side of the penalty area after LAFC’s press led to a Dallas giveaway. He drove a low finish inside the left corner that left Paes little chance to stop.
The visitors survived those first 15 minutes without further damage, then thought they’d leveled when Edwin Cerrillo’s low shot found its way past LAFC goalkeeper John McCarthy in the 18th minute. But referee Lukasz Szpala determined that Jader Obrian had been offside and screening McCarthy’s vision on the shot following the first of several video reviews during the evening.
–Field Level Media