Los Angeles, CA – LAFC forward Carlos Vela collected a loose rebound and sent a left-footed shot into the bottom left corner for a 2-0 lead in the 38th minute.
Los Angeles would hold to defeat Portland FC, 3-2, in a wild shootout on Wednesday night at Banc of California Stadium. The black and gold advanced to the semifinals.
“The Sunday game they tried to defend really well in the middle of the pitch,” Vela said. “Today, there was more spaces to receive the ball and make good chances.”
In the 33rd minute, LAFC took a 1-0 lead after Vela’s cross into the box was attempted to be headed away by Timbers’ David Guzman but the ball went into his own net.
Portland got on the board with Julio Cascante’s header in the second minute of stoppage time. Guzmans’ free kick found Cascante as he slipped behind the LAFC defense to cut the lead before halftime, 2-1.
“We find ways to do things to keep everybody on the edge of their seat,” LAFC coach Bob Bradley said. “We had less control tonight, less possession tonight, but we were dangerous.”
Costa Rica native Marco Urena gave Los Angeles a 3-1 lead in the 51st minute after he re-directed a shot from Jordan Harvey into Portland’s net.
A minute later, Dairon Asprilla dribbled past three defenders and sent a ball across the face of the goal that went to the left side. Portland defender Vytautas Andriuskevicius came in and fired a shot into the back of the net to cut the lead, 3-2.
“I’m so happy because I’ve been waiting for a long time,” Urena said on his goal. “My first game I got the injury and it was tough. It means a lot to me and I could feel the support from the guys.”
LAFC goalkeeper Tyler Miller was tested early but came up with back-to-back saves to keep the game scoreless. Dairon Asprilla got inside the box and fired a shot but Miller dove to make the save. The ball came right back to Asprilla who’s first-touch shot was blocked by Miller.
Vela said he feels they are close to winning a title and are working hard to be there and win it.
“This team dreams high,” Vela said. “I’m happy to be here and help my teammates.”