July 8, 2018 / 5:14 AM / 5 months ago

Diomande tallies twice as LAFC downs Orlando City

Adama Diomande scored a goal in each half Saturday as Los Angeles FC earned a 4-1 victory over visiting Orlando City to spoil the debut of new head coach James O’Connor.

Diomande, who was named MLS player of the month for June, has nine goals in his first six MLS matches. He made his LAFC debut on May 26 after playing for Hull City of the English Premier League.

LAFC improved to 10-4-4 (34 points) in its debut season and also improved to 5-0-3 at home. Saturday’s game was rescheduled to the evening because of triple-digit temperatures in the Los Angeles area.

It was the ninth consecutive defeat for Orlando City (6-11-1), which scored a goal for the first time in its last four games. Orlando City has been outscored 13-1 in that stretch.

Latif Blessing not only scored a first-half goal for LAFC, his centering pass in the 28th minute helped lead to Diomande’s first score. Mark-Anthony Kaye took Blessing’s feed and delivered a short pass to Diomande for the goal.

In the 32nd minute, LAFC’s Aaron Kovar sent in a cross and Blessing delivered an easy right-footed score for his fifth goal of the season.

Both teams had goals taken away on video review. Diomande appeared to score his second goal of the game in the 56th minute but was ruled offside on replay. Orlando City’s Dom Dwyer appeared to tie the game 2-2 in the 72nd minute, but another offside call was made via replay.

Orlando City struggled to create scoring chances until early in the second half when the offense came to life. Sacha Kljestan’s bending free kick from just outside of the penalty area was stopped on a dive from LAFC goalkeeper Tyler Miller in the 50th minute.

Kljestan finally ended Orlando City’s scoring drought in the 59th minute when his right-footed blast evaded Miller. It was Kljestan’s fourth goal of the season and the first goal for Orlando City since June 9 in a 5-2 defeat at Vancouver.

Diomande scored his second goal in the 82nd minute from just in front of the Orlando City goal. Two minutes later, second-half substitute Diego Rossi scored, his sixth of the season.

O’Connor, who played for the club when it was a member of the USL, replaced Jason Kreis, who was let go after a 6-8-1 start. The team was 0-2-0 under interim coach Bobby Murphy.

Carlos Vela, who played for Mexico in the World Cup, made his return to LAFC when he came off the bench in the 64th minute.

—Field Level Mediaa

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