LAFC advances in US Open Cup in wild match against Monterrey Bay
LAFC is still in the hunt for another trophy, though the road through was a little harder on Tuesday night.
Opening up is run through the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, LAFC’s trip up California’s central coast saw them have to weather a spirited challenge from Monterey Bay FC at Cardinale Stadium, always a challenge for any MLS side that has to face a lower division squad on its home turf.
LAFC was up to the challenge, getting a goal in the first half from Christian Torres. LAFC tried to ride out that goal to the end, but Simon Dawkins’ last minute goal forced extra time, and Jesse Maldonado’s opening goal of the session had Monterey Bay primed for the upset. However, Matheus Maia answered with an equalizer for LAFC, who then saw the match into a penalty shootout, and they ultimately prevailed 5-4 to advance to the Round of 16.
LAFC took the lead in the 25th minute, as Christopher Jaime played Torres forward, Torres touched into the penalty area, then sent the shot past Keeper Antony Siaha far post to stake LAFC to the lead. LAFC held onto that lead the the remainder of the first half and almost of regular time in the second half, but with LAFC seemingly on the verge of victory, Simon Dawkins gave Monterey Bay new life, as Christian Volesky found Dawkins at the top of the box and the former San Jose Earthquakes midfielder fired the shot past Keeper Eldin Jakupovic far post to level the match and thus keep Monterrey Bay alive.
Energized by the equalizer, Monterey Bay took the lead four minutes into extra time, as Volesky sprung Maldonado into the penalty area and Maldonaldo shook off his defender and fired the shot past Jakupovic to put the hosts up by a goal. LAFC however had one more bit of drama in them, as Maia equalized just before the end of the first half of extra time to keep LAFC alive in the match and the tournament. The match eventually went to penalties, and only one LAFC penalty taker missed his penalty, and Jakupovic sealed LAFC’s advancement by denying Mobi Fehr’s penalty.