Ryan Hollingshead and Cristian Arango scored second-half goals and Los Angeles FC halted its season-worst three-game slide with a solid 2–0 victory over visiting Real Salt Lake on the night of Sept. 4.
Carlos Vela had an assist and provided a spark after starting the game on the bench for Los Angeles FC (19–7–3, 60 points), having already qualified for the play-offs with the league’s best record.
Arango has scored five goals in three career matches against Real Salt Lake.
Maxime Crepeau made five saves for his ninth shutout of the season for LAFC, which moved into a tie for the Supporters’ Shield (most regular-season points) with the Philadelphia Union.
LAFC beat Real Salt Lake for the sixth straight time and improved to 10–2–0 all-time in the series, including playoff matches.
Salt Lake (11–9–9, 42 points) had a four-match unbeaten streak (2–0–2) halted. The stretch began after RSL lost 4–1 to visiting LAFC on Aug. 6.
Salt Lake is tied with the Portland Timbers for the sixth-most points in the Western Conference.
Zac MacMath made four saves for Salt Lake, which was out-shot 20–8. LAFC put seven shots on target to RSL’s five.
LAFC scored in the 49th minute after MacMath came out a few feet to break up a cross. The loose ball went toward Hollingshead, who sent a left-footed blast into the net for his fifth goal of the season.
Vela entered the match in the 58th. Just three minutes later, he sent a rocket left-footer just over the top of the net.
In the 62nd minute, Rubio Rubin had a chance for Salt Lake, but LAFC’s Diego Palacios deflected the right-footed shot and it went wide right of the net.
Arango made it 2–0 in the 68th minute with Vela delivering a pass. Arango deked MacMath to the ground and easily sent a right-footer into the net for his 15th goal of the season.
Salt Lake nearly cut its deficit in half in the 73rd minute, but Crepeau stopped Anderson Julio’s close-range header.
Vela took a penalty kick in the first minute of second-half stoppage time, but MacMath guessed correctly by moving to his left to stop Vela’s left-footed blast.
LAFC had an 8–1 edge in shots in the first half.
LAFC’s Jesus Murillo had a solid chance in the 28th minute, but his header was stopped by MacMath.