(East Los Angeles, CA) [From The Editor’s Desk]: BMO Stadium was alive, pulsating, and feeling the warmth and synergy of the crowd as it filed in for another big match for their team, LAFC/Black & Gold. It was a 7:30 pm kick-off under the recent Pacific Daylight Savings time regulation and the city, county, and all of Southern California was breathing a big sigh of relief from the weather clearing up and returning to normal. Due to the gigantic thunderstorms that caused lots of damage and homeowner nightmares, this match came at an opportune time for families to get back out and about for their leisure time activities.
[Photo Gallery Credit]: Frankli Robles, East L.A.Sports Scene Productions, LLC
Since we were still in observation of the March Women’s History Month, it was fitting that Women’s Empowerment Night was the Theme for this match. But now it was the fans’ time to relax for a couple of hours with their loved ones, families, and friends to enjoy the Black & Gold as it prepared to host FC Dallas, who came into BMO Stadium with a (2-1-1) record.
[1st HALF]: The seats in the crowd weren’t yet warmed up when at the (2:49) mark of the match, forward, #11/Timothy Tillman found the mark and struck for his 2nd goal as a member of the Black & Gold, (1-0) LAFC. To counter the LAFC goal, Dallas then went on the offensive and managed to drive home a goal by #6/Edwin Cerrillo, at the (19:00) minute mark to apparently tie the score, but with VAR official, Jair Marrufo, eventually speaking to the Referee Lukas Szpala, the goal was negated due to an obstruction of a Dallas player in front of Goalkeeper, John McCarthy.
The competition then turned very physical when at minute (32:00), FC Dallas’ defender, #22/Ema Twumasi, was issued a Red Card for a nasty foul committed against defender, #30/Sergi Palencia who was laid out with a forearm that struck him in the head. He was down on the pitch for several minutes while the Medical staff tended to him. With the Red Card, Dallas went to 10 players for the ejection and the remainder of the match. Another Yellow Card was next issued to #5/Facundo Quignon at the (40:00) minute mark. The home crowd held its breath when very near to the end of regulation time, a clear LAFC shot missed its target because it was aimed just a bit too high and hit the top of the cross bar and sailed away.
That would end the first period of the match, but the Coaches had seen enough to figure out and make adjustments to their match strategies for the second half. Referee Szpala added (4:00) minutes of stoppage time.
To view the match highlight video, click here.
[HALF-TIME SCORE]: LAFC 1 FC Dallas 0
[2nd HALF]: At minute (74:00) FC Dallas finally scored when #17/Nikosi Tafari timed an oncoming crosser to him in the lower box, and with a big leap into the air, was able to angle-kick the sphere with his right foot on into the netting and above the right shoulder of talented and gritty LAFC Goalkeeper, John McCarthy, for the tying goal, (1-1). The Black & Gold kept the offensive pressure on Dallas with double the number of shots on goal, but Dallas goalkeeper, #30/Maarten Paes kept them in the match with his strong and efficient defensive efforts.
Lots of yellow cards in the period, dominated the offensive frustration shown by FC Dallas. At the (72:00) minute mark, the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) was implemented by rule for a Penalty Kick awarded to LAFC on a foul against #10/Carlos Vela inside of the Box. He made a rare miss when the ball had too much lift, hit the left top of the cross bar, and caromed away.
LAFC didn’t sweat things out and they quickly responded to the Vela missed Penalty Kick. The Black & Gold then re-capitalized in the next few minutes and scored after a another nicely placed Vela corner-kick sailed high above and then right past the crowded bunch of players in front of the netting. Waiting for it unmarked on the left backside was #99/Dénis Bouanga. And in that 83rd minute he then made an incredibly difficult shot. It was a crowded crease area but the ball somehow had eyes to rapidly bound by a defender and then past the goalie for the winning late-match goal. The score gave LAFC a tremendous lift to a (2-1) victory as they only had to hold Dallas scoreless for the remaining (5:00) minutes of stoppage time. With the win, LAFC moves to (3-0-2) with  points. They trail St. Louis and Seattle, respectively.
[FULL-TIME SCORE]: LAFC 2 FC Dallas 1 [ATTENDANCE]: 22, 163
[OF SIGNIFICANCE]: Head Coach Steve Cherundulo changed his stating rotation up a bit and gave, his “Man On Fire” #99/Dénis Boulanga a chance to substitute and bring his great skill-set into the match hoping that he would score to break the deadlock and carry his team to victory lane. With hindsight being a perfect “20-20” eyesight, the mission was accomplished!
[MAN OF THE MATCH]: Timothy Tillman, scoring his second goal in as many matches.
[PREVIOUS MLS MATCH RESULT FROM SATURDAY, 4/2]: LAFC 0 Colorado Rapids 0 At Colorado.
[NEXT UP]: Concacaf Champions League, Leg 1 match vs. Vancouver Whitecaps, Wednesday, 4/5 at 7:00 pm. Watch on TUDN & FS1