REPORT | LAFC 3-0 Philadelphia Union
Timothy Tillman, Kwadwo Opoku and Denis Bouanga all scored as LAFC beat ten-man Philadelphia Union 3-0 at BMO Stadium
LAFC took the lead in the 13th minute when Tillman thumped the ball into the back of the net after Andre Blake had initially saved Ilie Sanchez's header.
In the 59th minute, Philadelphia were reduced to ten men when Olivier Mbaizo was sent off for a second yellow card following a foul on Bouanga.
With eight minutes remaining, Opoku doubled the LAFC advantage when he smashed the ball beyond Blake from inside the penalty area. Then, with the game heading to stoppage time, Bouanga put the game well out of reach. Jose Cifuentes played the forward through on goal, and Bouanga's shot beat Blake as it rose into the top corner.
Jim Curtin was forced into one change following the 1-1 in the reverse leg at Subaru Park. Jose Martinez missed out through injury, meaning Leon Flach started in his place.
In the opening moments of the game, Ale Bedoya was booked for a late challenge on Diego Palacios. The midfielder caught the LAFC defender late with his studs up and collided with Palacios' ankle. The referee quickly brandished the yellow card, as Palacios received lengthy treatment, but he was okay to continue.
In the 13th minute, Timothy Tillman thumped the hosts in front. Carlos Vela curled a corner from the right into the penalty area, where Ilie Sanchez headed it goalward. Andre Blake had to quickly adjust to get down to pull off a tremendous save. However, he could only push it in the direction of Tillman, who reacted the quickest to fire the rebound into the back of the net.
Daniel Gazdag had a big opportunity to bring Philadelphia level after 23 minutes. Kai Wagner's cross from the left fell to the Hungarian on the right-hand side of the box after Palacios misjudged the cross. Gazdag took a touch before shooting goalward, however, his effort was saved by John McCarthy, who had come out to close down the angle.
McCarthy denied Gazdag again, as he got a vital touch on the Hungarian's shot to put the ball behind for a corner. Julian Carranza and Gazdag linked up before the latter tried his luck from 20 yards out. The effort was a low-driven one, which was directed towards McCarthy's bottom right corner. However, the LAFC goalkeeper did well to get down and get a hand onto the ball to push it onto the post as it went on its way out for a corner.
At the start of first-half stoppage time, Blake was called into action. Mateusz Bogusz had the ball on the left and cut onto his right foot before bending a shot towards the far corner. The Union goalkeeper was equal to it, as he got a big hand on the ball to palm it away from danger.
HALF-TIME: LAFC 1-0 Philadelphia Union
Ryan Hollingshead did well to flick the ball goalward from a Vela corner in the 56th minute. Fortunately, it proved to be a comfortable save for Blake, who got down to gather it.
Just short of the hour, Philadelphia were reduced to ten men when Olivier Mbaizo received a second yellow card. He was booked in the first half due to pushing Jesus Murillo after being fouled. The second came after a foul on Denis Bouanga, who had taken the ball beyond Mbaizo. The right-back stuck a leg out and subsequently brought the winger down, giving the referee no choice but to brandish the second yellow card.
In the 72nd minute, Kwadwo Opoku had a good opportunity to double LAFC's lead. The forward, who replaced Bogusz, did well to get beyond a couple of Union defenders before firing a shot wide of the target, leaving Blake untroubled.
With eight minutes remaining, Opoku put the tie to bed. Vela played an excellent pass towards Opoku, who was on the left-hand side of the penalty area. The forward brought it onto his left foot before rifling a shot beyond Blake and into the top corner, leaving the goalkeeper with no chance of keeping it out.
Bouanga made it three in the final minute of normal time. He was played through on goal by Jose Cifuentes before lifting the ball beyond Blake and into the top corner from around eight yards out.
FULL-TIME: LAFC 3-0 Philadelphia Union
LAFC: McCarthy, Hollingshead, Murillo (Maldonado 46'), Long, Palacios, Acosta, Sanchez, Tillman (Cifuentes 67'), Bogusz (Opoku 66'), Vela (Biuk 87'), Bouanga
Unused Substitutes: Crisostomo, Duenas, Palencia, Romero
Philadelphia Union: Blake, Mbaizo, Glesnes, Elliott, Wagner, Flach, Bedoya, McGlynn (Sullivan 76'), Gazdag, Carranza (Torres 87'), Uhre (Harriel 61')
Unused Substitutes: Bendik, Trent, Real, Lowe, Bueno, Perea, Donovan