Denis Bouanga and LAFC showcase team’s depth in blowout win over New England
LAFC has a crowded schedule this season, one in which it could play as many as 60 games in about 41 weeks. As a result, the team’s depth will be tested.
Sunday that depth got an early pop quiz and the team passed it easily, with two goals and an assist from Denis Bouanga lifting it to a 4-0 win over the New England Revolution at BMO Stadium.
The game was LAFC’s third in eight days, so coach Steve Cherundolo, whose team will play again Wednesday, rotated his lineup, holding out four regulars. One regular who did start was Bouanga and he gave LAFC a quick lead, scoring on a penalty kick in the 14th minute. It was his fourth goal in 57 minutes of playing time dating to the second half of last week’s CONCACAF Champions League win in Costa Rica.
Denis Bouanga’s second-half hat trick gave LAFC a 3-0 win over Alajuelense in a first-round CONCACAF Champions League game in Alajuela, Costa Rica.
The goal was set up when midfielder Timothy Tillman, making his first start for LAFC, went down under a challenge from New England’s Gustavo Bou at the edge of the 18-yard box, earning the foul.
Bouanga then doubled the lead in the 68th minute, running onto a through ball from José Cifuentes and beating Revolution goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic for his fifth goal in two games. Tillman and Stipe Biuk then closed out the scoring, with Tillman finding the back of the net in the 83rd minute and Biuk on the final touch in stoppage time. The goals were the first in MLS for both. Bouanga assisted on Biuk’s goal.
The goals were the first the Revolution (2-1) have given up this season while the shutout was the second in as many games for LAFC goalkeeper John McCarthy. The victory also made Cherundolo the first MLS coach to beat New England in the Pacific time zone since the Galaxy did in May 2016.
A weary LAFC will have little time to enjoy Sunday’s victory since it returns to CONCACAF Champions League play Wednesday. It leads Alajuelense of Costa Rica 3-0 on aggregate after the first game of the two-leg, round-of-16 series.
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