LAFC

LAFC Advances to First MLS Cup in Franchise History With 3-0 Victory Over Austin FC

Cristian “Chicho” Arango scored the go-ahead goal for the second straight game and the Los Angeles Football Club advanced to its first MLS Cup final with a 3-0 victory over Austin FC.

Austin FC v Los Angeles Football Club: Western Conference Finals - 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs
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The Los Angeles Football Club is headed to to the MLS Cup.

LAFC advanced to their first championship game in club history when they defeated the upstart Austin Football Club 3-0 at the Banc of California Stadium on Sunday.

Cristian “Chicho” Arango scored the go-ahead goal for the second straight game and Kwadwo Opoku scored a third goal in the 82nd minute to finish off the victory for LAFC.

In the second half, Maximiliano Urruti scored an own goal to give LAFC a 2-0 lead.

LAFC — which won the Supporters Shield as the top team in the regular season — will host the winner of Sunday night's Eastern Conference final between NYCFC-Philadelphia Union on Saturday afternoon.

LAFC won the Supporters Shield back in 2019 as well, but lost in the Western Conference Finals against the Seattle Sounders. This victory avenged that lost, and will see them play at home in the Final.

It's just the second time in the last 10 years that the winner of the Supporters Shield made the MLS Cup final.

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Arango headed in a crossing pass from Carlos Vela on a corner kick in the 29th minute to put LAFC on top.

The forward has scored in 26 of the 52 MLS games he has played since making his debut in August of last season. He is an MVP finalist after scoring 30 regular-season goals.

After Urruti's own goal in the 62nd minute, Opoku took advantage of a turnover and put a left-footed shot past Austin goalkeeper Brad Stuver.

LAFC has won 11 of its last 12 matches (including the postseason) at home.

Austin FC finished in second place in its second season in MLS and had a 16-10-8 record during the regular season. They defeated LAFC in both matches they played during the regular season, but it was a completely different story in the playoffs. The Black and Gold dominated from start to finish in a game that could have easily been 6 or 7 to zero instead of 3-0.

The match provided a fine showcase for two of the league’s top young head coaches, as first-year manager Steve Cherundolo got the upper hand over former USMNT teammate Josh Wolff to claim Western Conference supremacy.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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