Hat trick leads to LAFC victory over Philadelphia Union

June 30, 2018 Los Angeles, CA. MLS 2018: Los Angeles Football Club vs Philadelphia Union at BANC OF CALIFORNIA Stadium in Los Angeles, Ca on June 30, 2018. Rick Gurrola

Los Angeles, CA- LAFC Norwegian forward Adama Diomande tapped in a goal from close range to complete the first hat trick in club history and help the Black and Gold to a 4-1 win over Philadelphia Union on Saturday at Banc of California Stadium.

The victory gave LAFC a 4-0-3 record at home and they keep pace with Sporting KC and FC Dallas, whom they trail by two points in the Western Conference.

 “I’m just going into my training everyday smiling with my teammates,” Diomande, who has acquired in May, said. “It’s just a bonus to get that history.”

In the 25th minute, LAFC took a 1-0 lead when Diomande cut left, then cut right to shake loose the defender, and fired a shot passed the goalkeeper.

 The Union missed scoring opportunities in the first half as Alejandro Bedoyas’ header went off the far post in the 28th minute. Bedoya came close once again in the 42nd minute, but his header off a corner went over the goal.

 LAFC took a 2-0 lead a minute later on Diomandes’ second goal. Mark-Anthony Kaye crossed a pass to Diomande inside the box for an easy goal. The Black and Gold showed good movement and sliced through the Union’s defense with ease.


“We’ve been working on trying to find that extra pass that gets the goal,” Kaye said. “He’s demanding the ball and he’s scoring. That’s what you want from your striker.”

 Philadelphia cut the lead on Fafa Picault’s goal in the 45th minute. Picault scored off a rebound right before halftime.

 Diomande scored his third goal of the match in the 55th minute, giving the 28-year-old seven goals in the last five games. That’s the most of any player after five games in the league’s 23-year history according to Elias Sports.

 “For me, tonight this was the first game so far where I started to see quality of some of his touches and the sharpness where he is able to take the ball and move and make the right pass to the next guy,” LAFC coach Bob Bradley said. “From my time with him, I know that is a lot closer to the Dio I remember.”

 LAFC added a late goal in stoppage time by Latif Blessing, who also finished with two assist. The Black and Gold are back in action on Wednesday, July 3 against Houston before returning to Banc of California Stadium on Saturday, July 7 against Orlando City FC.