Los Angeles Football Club drilled the Vancouver Whitecaps 5-2 in the MLS Western Conference Playoffs. Following a 1-1 draw at Vancouver on the last game of the MLS regular season, the Black and Gold won and are one more game away from qualifying for the Western Conference Semifinals.
Ryan Hollingshead started the goal fest when he got the rebound from his shot through the legs of Whitecaps goalkeeper Yohei Takaoka. Vancouver got the equalizer in less than 10 minutes when Brian White scored his 16th goal of the season by curling the ball past Maxime Crépeau.
Denis Bouanga gave LAFC the lead without hesitation after running past two defenders before striking the ball into the net. Sam Adekugbe got the Whitecaps level with a free header five before halftime.
LAFC had 45 more minutes to save the game, while the Whitecaps had to be resilient. But the Black and Gold were just too good. Hollingshead scored a brace, which LAFC supporters rarely see, and remained ruthless throughout the game.
Bouanga killed off the game when he kicked a low line drive through everybody after a set-piece. Jesus Murillo extended the lead to make it 5-2 from a corner kick. LAFC took advantage of the set pieces and were well executed.
LAFC are now one game away from qualifying to the next and face either Seattle Sounders, who beat FC Dallas 2-0. If LAFC draws on Sunday, then the game goes to penalties. If LAFC wins, they are through, if they lose, they play the third game.
If the Black and Gold lose, then they play again at home in the third round. The first round of the best-of-three series will give them confidence ahead of the second round.