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Los Angeles FC have looked a bit fragile in recent weeks, and a 4-0 loss to Houston Dynamo is part of the reason why they’ve looked like that. Luckily for them, they’ll get a shot at revenge just a few days later.
The Houston Dynamo had their biggest win of the season against LAFC. They have no reason to fear them after the events of this week. LAFC will play at home, so Houston Dynamo will face a different challenge this week. The loss would’ve angered LAFC greatly, who were well below par over the weekend.
Houston fully deserved the three points, but they had a bit of good fortune throughout the match. We think the loss over the weekend was a good wake-up call for LAFC, and they’ll show their quality in the upcoming match.
Houston Dynamo beat LAFC 4-0 this weekend in one of the most surprising results of the season. Houston took an 11th-minute lead thanks to Nelson Itture and held onto the lead in the first half despite being put under pressure by LAFC. They were gifted a penalty five minutes into the second half, and Amine Bassi slotted the spot kick into the back of the net to make it 2-0.
Corey Baird added a third in the 69th minute to wrap up the result, and Franco Escobar added another in the 89th minute to add insult to injury. It wasn’t as comfortable a win as the scoreline suggested, but Houston Dynamo were well worth the three points.
LAFC took 13 shots to the Dynamo’s 12 and had 58% possession, but the Dynamo were extremely clinical on the day and were able to match LAFC physically on the day. It’s hard to see them repeat this on Wednesday but this result will give them a lot of confidence heading into this match and this season.
LAFC don’t seem to have recovered from their CONCACAF Champions League final loss to Leon. They lost 3-1 on aggregate to the Liga MX side and hadn't played an MLS game for a while before drawing 0-0 against Atlanta United and losing 4-0 to Houston Dynamo this weekend.
It seems like the team is still down after the loss in the finals. This is understandable, as LAFC have been an unstoppable force for a while. They were imperious in the league campaign last year before winning the playoffs in the most dramatic. They were also excellent in the CONCACAF Champions League before failing at the final hurdle.
The team has been pushing hard on all fronts, and the run has finally come to an end. It’s not easy for teams to keep going at such a high level, regardless of quality, but losing 4-0 to Houston Dynamo was a step too far.
Top teams can’t keep their guard down for too long, and LAFC have a team and the backing to launch a dynasty. A win in this match will see them tie St. Louis at the top of the table with one match to spare, so there’s still a lot to play for. St. Louis are just one of the teams that will try to take the Western Conference throne from LAFC.
Inter Miami, who are last in the league, have added Lionel Messi to their ranks, so they’ll naturally become title contenders for this season. The underlying and raw numbers suggest that LAFC are still one of the top defensive and attacking teams, so there’s no shortage of quality in the side. They didn’t drop points in the last two games because of a lack of quality but because they weren’t as desperate to get things over the line – the opposition matched them physically, and LAFC folded a little.
LAFC know that they can’t afford to drop points again. MLS teams are highly competitive and prey on the smallest of weaknesses. If they’re up for it, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t win this match.
Houston Dynamos must’ve surprised themselves with how good they were against LAFC on the weekend, but that’s the standard they should perform at every week. It’s still a bit difficult to come to terms with their win over LAFC on the weekend. Other than home advantage, there was nothing to suggest that Houston will get something out of that game, never mind winning 4-0.
There wasn’t much as far as league form was concerned – they have been inconsistent for the most part this season. The underlying numbers certainly don’t look good. In fact, they’ve got the second-worst expected goal differential per 90 (difference between the expected goals and expected goals against per 90 minutes) in the Western Conference. This suggests that they haven’t been great in attack or defense.
Things just seemed to click for Houston Dynamo on the weekend. Of course, the early goal helped, but they were able to match LAFC with shots on goal for the rest of the game, which is something no one thought they were capable of.
Besides the win on the weekend, Amine Bassi has also been a real positive for the club. He has scored seven goals in this campaign, which is impressive for a struggling side. He also has an expected goal value of 5.2, which suggests he can keep this up for the rest of the season. He’s actually quite unfortunate not to have registered an assist so far this season.
There wasn’t an element of good fortune in winning the match on the weekend, but the scoreline did flatter them a little. LAFC will go into this match with revenge on their mind; Houston will have to be careful in the early parts of the game. If they can hold LAFC off in the first 20 minutes, they could get something from this game, but it will be difficult away from home. We think LAFC will be too strong for them at home.
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With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]More info on Nikhil Kalro
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