LAFC and San Jose Earthquakes reached the quarterfinals of the MLS is Back tournament following their massive wins over Seattle Sounders and Real Salt Lake City, respectively.
LAFC Even the Score With Sounders
Bob Bradley and his company trashed the reigning MLS champions, and the team who eliminated them from the previous MLS Cup playoffs, Seattle Sounders. FC defeated the rivals with 4-1, cruising into the top 8 in a pretty convincing manner.
“It was payback time,” said Latif Blessing who scored one goal.
And it really was like that, with the LAFC’s players stepping on the pitch and doing what they know the best, which is to hurt the rivals.
One of the biggest MVP candidates, Diego Rossi, was unstoppable for the Sounders’ defense, delivering two goals and creating all sorts of troubles. He was in the middle of attention after some 13 minutes. Rossi entered the box, and was brought down by Xavier Arreaga, Seattle’s defender, leaving no choice for the referee but to point towards the penalty spot.
Rossi didn’t have any trouble executing the chance for another goal.
Blessing doubled the lead in the 39th minute. The Ghanaian international had a lot of luck, because the ball deflected Shane O’Neill’ before hitting the back of the net.
As time went by, Seattle’s efforts to score became more and more intensified, and that finally gave some results. Fifteen minutes before the end, Will Bruin brought some hope for the Sounders, but that turned out to be a short-breathed situation.
Just seven minutes after that, Rossi scored another goal, and Brian Rodrigues sealed the win in the 89th minute. By the way, Rossi’s goal was again on Arreaga’s account, with the center-back making a big turnover, which led to another score.
“The focus was really good tonight, the reactions were at a high level,” said Bob Bradley during his post-game interview.
The no.1 favorites for winning the MLS title this year will meet Orlando City in the quarterfinals this Friday.
Quakes Rip Real Salt Lake
San Jose showed its magnificent attacking potential against Salt Lake, demolishing the rivals from Utah with 5-2.
“Every one of us enjoys being here,” said Magnus Eriksson, who scored two goals. “That was actually one of the things we said before the game, on the field: We’ve been here for almost five weeks, so we can stay two more and then go all the way to the final.
Cristian Espinoza opened the festival of goals in the 21st minute, but Quakes’ lead lasted for less than a minute, as Douglas Martinez leveled the score almost immediately.
This was the result of the first 45 minutes, and what happened in the second period could be described as fireworks. Eriksson scored for 2-1, converting a penalty in the 49th minute.
Valeri Qazaishvili made it 3-1 in the 61st minute. Real Salt Lake decreased the gap in the 75th minute through Damir Kreilach, but they didn’t have the strength to reach an equalizer. RSL’s Silva received a red card shortly after and that was the signal for San Jose to make the final push and solve the match.
Chris Wondolowski needed just five minutes on the pitch to score, while Eriksson converted another penalty to set the final result.
“Everyone feels comfortable on the ball and we work together the whole time. We really feel like we’re strong together and that’s important out there,” he said.
San Jose now waits to see who would be the winner of the meeting between Columbus and Minnesota.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.