Kwadwo “Mahala” Opoku scores the game’s sole goal five minutes after entering the game by taking advantage of a shorthanded United team.
Los Angeles FC’s 1-0 victory over D.C. United on Tuesday extended their Supporters’ Shield leaders’ franchise-record winning streak to seven games, albeit it was far from their prettiest performance of the season.
Kwadwo “Mahala” Opoku’s game-winning goal in the second half held up against United, who came into the game at the bottom of the 28-team MLS rankings and had now gone four games without scoring.
After 25 games, Los Angeles FC leads its nearest rivals, Austin FC and the Philadelphia Union, by nine points, firmly controlling the race for the club’s second championship trophy.
LAFC (18-4-3, 57 points) attempted to take the lead. Still, the D.C. goalkeeper David Ochoa, making his professional debut, had a relatively stress-free first 45 minutes thanks to LAFC’s fragmented and overeager buildup.
Ochoa, a Real Salt Lake transfer, was not touched by a shot on goal during the tedious first half despite five LAFC corner kicks and twelve crosses into the box.
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At the other end of the field, Banc of California Stadium goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau had to make a pair of outstanding stops to prevent a goal from being scored for the second straight game.
On Saturday, Los Angeles FC’s changes in the locker room led to a five-goal outburst against Charlotte FC. Three days later, LAFC scored the required goal, although their performance against the league’s bottom team was minimal.
D.C. (6-15-4, 22 points), which had accumulated five yellow cards between the 15th and 60th minutes, lost a player when defender Steve Birnbaum received his second yellow card in 10 minutes.
The Irvine native Birnbaum was dismissed by the referee, Craig Lowry, leaving an already outmatched United team shorthanded as Cherundolo once more called upon his renowned bench.