LAFC Scores 5-1 Victory Over Philadelphia Union in U-15 Playoffs Group B Opener

LAFC, who scored 96 goals in 24 regular season matches, continued its free-scoring ways with a 5-1 victory over Philadelphia Union on Thursday afternoon in the opening round of U-15 Group B play at the 2019 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs. Christian Torres scored a pair while Luis Lima, Beau Yantz and Nathan Ordaz each added a goal in the victory for LAFC.

After a cagey opening 20 minutes with neither team creating much in the way of offensive opportunities, LAFC struck first as Lima broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute. An initial shot took a deflection off a Philadelphia Union defender and Lima was quickest to react, pouncing on the deflection and firing past Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Owen Moore to give the Southwest Division champions the 1-0 lead.

Just past the half-hour mark Philadelphia Union struck back on a header from Andrew Johnson off a corner. Million Evans sent in the corner and it was Johnson that rose above the crowd, heading the ball down and back across the goal, off the inside of the post and over the line before LAFC goalkeeper Donovan Palomares could collect it as the Union pulled even in the 31st minute.

Eight minutes later LAFC was back in front as Lima played provider, racing down the left wing, past the Philadelphia Union defense and into the box, before squaring to Torres who slotted the ball into the net past a helpless Moore to give LAFC a 2-1 lead in the 39th minute.

Three minutes after halftime Yantz doubled the lead for LAFC, converting off a rebound from close range. LAFC took its first corner of the game short, with the ball eventually played to the top of the box to Franco De Luna. The shot from De Luna took a deflection but continued slowly toward goal where Yantz followed up from the edge of the six-yard box to give LAFC a 3-1 advantage in the 43rd minute.

The Southwest Division champions nearly had a fourth in the 47th minute as Kevin Jimenez setup Torres for the chance. Torres' shot beat Moore but rang back off the crossbar to keep the Union within a pair.

LAFC did get their fourth in the 52nd minute as Torres scored his second of the afternoon. Jimenez played a ball down the right wing to Dylan Presto and Presto was able to find Torres with a low cross near the penalty spot that Torres swept into the back of the net with his first touch as LAFC took a 4-1 lead.

Five minutes before the final whistle LAFC added a fifth as a turnover in the back by Philadelphia Union was collected by Ordaz who skipped past the sliding challenge of a Union defender and finished past Moore to give the Southern California side a 5-1 advantage.

Both teams will be right back in action on Friday for the second round of group stage games in the U-15 Playoffs. LAFC will meet Chicago Fire while Philadelphia Union plays Colorado Rapids, both games are slated for 5:15 p.m. PT.

Watch the full match here: https://ussoc.cr/6638