March 21, 2023
Denis Bouanga and LAFC show team depth in win over New England

Denis Bouanga and LAFC show team depth in win over New England

LAFC forward Denis Bouanga, shown here celebrating against the Philadelphia Union in the MLS Cup championship game in November, scored twice and provided an assist in a 4-0 win over New England on Sunday night. evening. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press)

LAFC has a tight schedule this season, in which it could play up to 60 games in about 41 weeks. As a result, the depth of the team will be tested.

That depth was given an early pop test on Sunday and the team passed it easily, with two goals and an assist from Denis Bouanga leading them 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 on Wednesday, rotated his lineup and left out four regulars. A regular who did start was Bouanga and he gave LAFC a quick lead, scoring from a penalty in the 14th minute. It was his fourth goal in 57 minutes of playing time since the second half of the CONCACAF Champions League victory in last week in Costa Rica.

The goal was set up when midfielder Timothy Tillman, making his first start for LAFC, fell under a challenge from New England’s Gustavo Bou on the edge of the 18-yard box, earning the foul.

Bouanga then doubled the lead in the 68th minute, running into 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 in the finishing 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 conceded this season, while the shutout was the second in as many games for LAFC goalkeeper John McCarthy. The win also made Cherundolo the first MLS manager to beat New England in the Pacific time zone since the Galaxy in May 2016.

A tired LAFC will have little time to enjoy Sunday’s victory as it returns to the CONCACAF Champions League on Wednesday. They lead Alajuelense of Costa Rica 3-0 on aggregate after the first game of the two-legged round of 16 series.

This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

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