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Concacaf Champions League Final - LAFC

LAFC Defeats Third Consecutive Liga MX Team-Face Tigres UANL For Title

Black & Gold Reach Their First Concacaf Final In Just First Three Seasons

Photos: Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League @The Champions; @Major League Soccer @MLS; LAFC @LAFC

(East Los Angeles, CA) December 21, 2020 [From The Editor’s Desk]: I’d venture a strong guess at this time, that if you were to ask any of LAFC’s ever faithful, Group 3252 were they worried about their match-up on the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League Semi-Final with Liga MX heavyweight, Club América, the answer would have been an emphatic NO! The reason for that answer was wearing #10 on his increasingly popular Black & Gold uniform, for he was none other than the Man of The Match and the Man of The Franchise, Carlos Vela. You literally have to see the match video highlights to truly appreciate his natural skills and super-extraordinary talents. 

Now, it can be assumed that all of the soccer/fútbol enthusiasts of the world will stop in their respective cities and countries to take a good strong look at this competitive match-up tonight between the MLS’ flag-bearer, LAFC and La Liga MX’s Tigres UANL for the 2020 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League (SCCL) title.

(Match Summary): The first half was marked by an intensity level, the likes that have not been equaled this COVID-19 Coronavirus plagued season to date. The Águilas scored first at the 11th minute, thanks to a great corner kick and subsequent “header” conversion by Sebastian Caceres and it suddenly was (1-0). The match swung back-and-forth like a heavy pendulum, with coaches, players, and all virtual fans, waiting on edge to see what big play might happen next. Then, everyone got their wish of witnessing one of the most amazing and yet strangest, rapid-fire, or “bang-bang” plays in soccer when, during stoppage play, a highly disputed “No-call” by the Head Referee occurred when LAFC, midfielder, Eduard Atuesta, was apparently fouled inside the box on his goal attempt. Curiously, and at first glance, America’s goalkeeper, Guillermo Ochoa came out to check on Atuesta, and before you could say Hola, como estás?, Ochoa lay on the pitch writhing in apparent pain. The replay was very difficult to see 100% in its totality and both teams came in to check on their comrade. Then, after nearly 5 minutes of head scratching by all concerned, calm was finally established.

Once the  medical units finished their work, Atuesta then gathered himself long enough to approach the referee and had some serious words to say about what had happened to him. But the referee was not having any of it and he took out his Red card. Atuesta’s remark was either offensive and/or unsportsmanlike in nature. The Red card issued by Head Referee, Juan Gabriel Calderon automatically banished him from the contest, and as a consequence, will most likely not be permitted to play in today’s Champions League Final against Liga MX’s Tigres UANL, de Monterrey, MX. By rule, Atuesta’s red card left LAFC with one man short for the remainder of the match.

To see the match highlights, click here.

(Photo Gallery):Photo Gallery: Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League @The Champions; @Major League Soccer @MLS; LAFC @LAFC

And next, as though the calm had been restored to the match and teams were on their walks to their locker rooms, another incredible issue took place. It centered around América’s Coach, Miguel Herrera who somehow managed to be ejected for violation of a CONCACAF code of conduct rule. He was ordered removed from the pitch and then escorted up to the stands by Champions League officials. He was also photographed on a “walkie-talkie” probably giving coaching instructions to his assistant. Again, another infraction of the rules. If you add this to the Atuesta and Ochoa mystery or unwarranted deceit by a player, this will be one of those annual “big-time” situational plays and coach’s conduct that will be discussed many, many times over by players, coaches, and fans alike.

(2nd Half): Now, back to the match…The period had just begun and in the blink-of-an-eye, Club América made a critical mistake by lazily floating a cross-field pass from Caceres to a midfielder, only to have it cleanly stolen by an alert Carlos Vela. He then gathered the ball in stride and as he picked up momentum, he drove full-speed to América’s goal in serious attack mode. At minute 45:15, he then blasted it past Ochoa to the right-back end of the net to tie the score at (1-1). Then, after another 90 seconds elapsed, Vela struck again for his second goal after taking a long-ball assist from Eddie Segura and then rammed it home, similar in style to his first goal. The score at the 47th minute was now LAFC 2, Club América 1.

At the 79th minute, Club América’s Luís Sánchez, illegally plowed into Diego Rossi, “cleats up” while he was in possession of the ball and was immediately ejected for his unsportsmanlike attack on the defenseless LAFC striker. The teams had fought bitterly and tenaciously for most of the period up, and until the 95th minute, when, the multi-talented Ghanian specialist, #7 Latif Blessing scored after driving home the deflection from a direct shot on goal by Diego Rossi, pushing the score to (3-1), in favor of LAFC. That would conclude the scoring and secured the biggest match win in its brief Club history, for the Black & Gold.

(Special Match Notes): There was no authorized use of the Visual Assisted Replay (VAR) for the match. The winner will advance to the 2020 FIFA Club World Cup scheduled to take place from Feb. 1-11, 2011 in Doha, Qatar.

(Next Match): Tigres de UANL de La Liga MX, 7:00 pm, (PT) Tuesday, Dec. 22nd, TV: FS2, TUDN; Streaming: FOX Sports GO.

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