LAFC ADVANCES TO CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL WITH 3-0 WIN OVER PHILADELPHIA UNION
Interviews with LAFC Head Coach Steve Cherundolo, Denis Bouanga Ryan Hollingshead and Timothy Tillman
May 18, 2023
The Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) advanced to the final of the Concacaf Champions League with a 3-0 victory over the Philadelphia Union on Tuesday night at BMO Stadium. LAFC won the series 4-1 on aggregate, having played to a 1-1 draw in the first leg last week in Philadelphia.
Knowing that a win would see the club through to the Champions League Final for the second time in the last four years, LAFC took the lead in the 13th minute when Timothy Tillman scored his first-ever goal in the competition. Ilie Sanchez saw his close-range header saved on the line by Philadelphia goalkeeper Andre Blake, but Tillman was able to react quickest to the rebound and slam it into the open net giving the home side the lead.
The score would stay that way until late in the second half, despite the Union being reduced to 10 men when Olivier Mbazio was sent off for collecting a second yellow card in the 59th minute. However, LAFC finally put the series out of reach in the 82nd minute when Carlos Vela played Mahala Opoku into the box and the Ghanaian forward fired home to double the LAFC lead.
Denis Bouanga, the 2023 Concacaf Champions League leading scorer, rounded out the scoring in the 90th minute, tallying his sixth goal of the competition off a feed from Jose Cifuentes to give his team a 3-0 victory.
John McCarthy, the MVP of MLS Cup against the Union last year, made two saves to keep his fourth clean sheet in six Champions League games this year.
LAFC will face either Tigres UANL or Leon from Mexico's Liga MX in the Champions League Final. The dates and times of the Final will be announced at a later date.
The Black & Gold are back in action in MLS play on Saturday, May 6 when they travel north to take on the San Jose Earthquakes. That game will kick off at 4:30 p.m. and can be seen live on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.