Los Angeles Football Club 4, Philadelphia Union 1 | 2018 MLS Match Recap
Diomande struck twice in the first half before Fafa Picault pulled one back for the Union just before the first-half whistle. However, a "Dio" tap-in 10 minutes into the second frame was enough to secure the win, and Latif Blessing scored a late insurance goal.
The visitors showed some early endeavor, but Diomande made sure it was all for naught when he cut back twice against Philly's Mark McKenzie before firing a low shot into the far corner. Joao Moutinho saved the home team's bacon almost immediately afterwards, clearing a goal-bound header from Alejandro Bedoya off the line. LAFC were able to calm the jitters and score again through Diomande, with Mark-Anthony Kaye providing the final ball after an incisive passing move from the home side.
Philly pulled one back on the stroke of halftime when LAFC goalkeeper Tyler Miller pushed a cross right into Picault's path, and the speedy winger took full advantage of the gift for his third goal in four games.
Diomande ensured there would be no comeback, though, as he responded with another close-range finish after Latif Blessing kept alive a cross from the right for the Norwegian striker to finish for his third goal of the evening and seventh in five games. Blessing, who had two assists on the night, would grab a goal of his own deep into second-half stoppage time, putting away the rebound after Andre Blake saved Lee Nguyen's initial shot.
- 25' – LAFC – Adama Diomande | Watch
- 43' – LAFC – Adama Diomande | Watch
- 45' – PHI – Fafa Picault | Watch
- 55' – LAFC – Adama Diomande | Watch
- 90+6' – LAFC – Latif Blessing | Watch
- THE BIG PICTURE: The win keeps LAFC's home unbeaten record alive and ensures they keep pace with Sporting KC and FC Dallas, whom they trail by two points in the Western Conference (and they have a game in hand on Sporting). Philadelphia, who fought gamely, slipped out of the Eastern Conference playoff spots, but can pretty safely write off the loss after a cross-country road trip, especially if Picault continues his strong run of form.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The third goal for Dio and LAFC quashed any momentum Philadelphia might've generated with their late first-half goal and completed a historic hat trick for the expansion team.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Score a hat trick, get the game ball. Take a bow, Adama Diomande.