The LAFC won the fans’ title for the second time in four years with a 2-1 win over the Portland Timbers on Sunday after Denis Bouanga’s 95th-minute victory.
The California club capitalized on the Philadelphia Union’s 4-0 loss to Charlotte on Saturday, and Sunday’s victory put them three points clear with one game to go. MLS uses most wins as first tiebreaker if points are tied, with LAFC (21) leading Union (18).
Bouanga’s first goal for LAFC came in stoppage time in the second half and was the moment a Gabon international scored into the box and then shot low.
In the 33rd minute, Claudio Bravo saved a shot from Carlos Vela from the goal line, but the Mexican was not denied, striking with his left foot from the edge of the penalty area in the 51st minute.
Dairon Asprilla equalized with a powerful header from Bravo’s cross in the 81st minute, but Buanga stepped in decisively and grabbed the backboard for the visitors.
LAFC head coach Steve Cerundolo said: “Such emotional game endings seem to have become a habit in this league, I don’t quite understand why. We are delighted. We had a goal this year and we reached the first one.”
— LAFC (@LAFC) October 2, 2022
Portland’s loss saw Nashville advance to the playoffs for the third year in a row, despite a 2-1 home loss to the Houston Dynamo that saw Sebastian Ferreira score a double.
The Seattle Sounders lost 1-0 to Sporting Lisbon, confirming they would miss the playoffs for the first time in their 13-year history, marking the end of an era.
Defending MLS Cup winners New York City won in a row with a 2-1 home win over Orlando City, who are in contention for a playoff spot.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) October 2, 2022