Carlos Vela scored the game-winning goal on a breakaway in the 72nd minute, and Stipe Biuk and Jose Cifuentes also scored as Los Angeles FC defeated visiting St. Louis City 3-0 on Wednesday night.
Los Angeles FC (10-6-6, 36 points) moved into second place in the Western Conference, two points behind St. Louis City (12-8-2, 38 points), when John McCarthy made two saves and recorded his seventh shutout of the season.
Cifuentes also assisted on the game-winning goal for LAFC, which ended a four-match losing streak (0-3-1). Meanwhile, St. Louis City’s three-match winning streak was snapped.
Vela’s goal came on LAFC’s first shot on goal of the game.
Cifuentes fired a pass above the midfield pack, which Vela chased down. He sent a powerful left-footer past St. Louis goalie Roman Burki and into the left side of the net. Vela’s seventh goal of the season.
LAFC went up 2-0 in the 82nd minute thanks to a run down the left side by leading scorer Denis Bouanga. He crossed the field to an open Biuk, who hammered a right-footer past Burki for his third goal of the season.
Cifuentes finished the first all-time match between the clubs with a left-footed grounder into the right corner of the net in the second minute of second-half stoppage time. Cifuentes scored his first goal of the season.
Earlier in the half, in the 66th minute, Biuk passed the ball to Vela, whose swerving left-footed shot sailed wide to the left.
McCarthy jumped to tip over a left-footed missile from beyond the box by St. Louis’ John Nelson one minute later.
Burki did not make a single save. LAFC outshot the opposition 11-9, with all three of their on-target attempts finding the back of the net. St. Louis made two shots on goal.
The only shot on goal in the first half came from St. Louis, and it came in the first minute of stoppage time. McCarthy saved Tomas Ostrak’s right-footed shot.
LAFC’s finest first-half goal chance came from a corner kick in the 39th minute, but Ryan Hollingshead’s header flew wide right.