Carlos Vela Hattrick Leads LAFC to Opening Day Victory over Colorado

Carlos Vela hattrick

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – It was a day of double revenge at the Banc of California Stadium. Los Angeles FC were hosting Colorado Rapids, who they lost to on Decision Day last year to miss the playoffs. Midfielder Kellyn Acosta was making his black and gold debut, against his former club.

Carlos Vela Hattrick Leads LAFC to Opening Day Victory

The former Burgundy Boy helped his new club open the scoring a half hour in. After some good buildup, Acosta took the ball to the touchline and delivered a cross that went off the hand of a sliding Lalas Abubakar for a penalty. Vela sent goalkeeper William Yarbrough the wrong way to make it 1-0.

Vela made it 2-0 five minutes later. José Cifuentes won possession off Max Alves and sent a longball to Vela. Vela dribbled in on goal, slotting it past Yarbrough while fending off Abubakar from behind.

The home side put the game away just five minutes into the second half. LAFC played through the midfield on three passes to get the ball to Vela outside the box. He set up his shot and threaded the ball past a close defender to the far side netting.

The match hit a boiling point an hour in as Mamadou Fall was given a yellow card for fouling substitute Diego Rubio. The foul prompted a scuffle between both teams as Michael Barrios got between Rubio and Fall to defend his teammate.

It ended 3-0 with Colorado unable to muster anything dangerous on goal. Danny Musovski was denied on a breakaway in stoppage time.

Three Key Takeaways:

Carlos Vela hattrick proves he’s back? Vela wasn’t great last year. There were rumblings he was looking ahead to leaving the club. He was on form in this game. A well taken penalty. A good run for one goal. Two good finishes while dealing with a defender. That third goal could be a Goal of Week candidate.

VAR: Vela had a decent head start on the second goal. The broadcast showed no definitive angles as to whether or not he was onside. There’s a question of whether or not Cifuentes fouled Max Alves in the buildup. There was a delay in the kickoff after the goal so perhaps VAR got a long look before deciding against any review.

A rough week: The Rapids failed to advance in Champions League on Wednesday. Manager Robin Fraser rotated just two starters between the two games this week. In three competitive games, they’ve scored one goal. They looked tired in this match. There weren’t sharp to start. They need to start scoring goals and put in 90 minute performances soon.

Photo Credit: John A. Babiak @Photog_JohnB


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