By Mary Cuningham
Adama Diomandé’s hat trick and a last-minute goal from Latif Blessing powered the Los Angeles Football Club’s 4-1 defeat the visiting Union 4-1.
The Union came into the match after a big week. Last Saturday, they defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps 4-0, with two goals from Borek Dockal and penalty kick goals from Ilsinho and Fabrice-Jean Picault. Lucky for LAFC fans, Dockal, who was named MLS Player of the Week from his performance against Vancouver, did not travel to Los Angeles due to the birth of his second child earlier in the week.
LAFC went into the match without two of its biggest contributors. Leading scorer Carlos Vela is still away on international duty with Mexico for the World Cup, and assists leaders Diego Rossi is out with a hamstring strain. So, Blessing, Diomandé and Lee Nguyen started up top for Los Angeles.
Diomandé opened the scoring in the 25th minute off a Blessing assist. In the minutes before the goal, Philadelphia had a few dangerous opportunities that could have changed the course of the game had LAFC not prevailed.
The Union continued to try to make their mark on the match, but Diomandé responded once again. In the 43rd minute, he put the ball away after a few clean passes from teammates.
Fafà Picault finally gave Philly a glimmer of hope just before the half to put the score at 2-1.
The second half slanted even more in favor of LAFC. Diomandé scored his third goal of the match in the 55th minute to put his side ahead 3-1. Blessing then sealed victory for Los Angeles with a stoppage-time goal.
LAFC remain undefeated at home during their inaugural season. This was Diomandé’s fifth game for the expansion side, and he’s already tied with Carlos Vela for a team-leading seven goals.