Denis Bouanga scores twice as LAFC rout Nashville SC


Eduard Atuesta scores to make it 5-0

Eduard Atuesta scores to make it 5-0

Denis Bouanga scored his first two goals of the season and LAFC snapped out of their attacking funk with a 5-0 thrashing of visiting Nashville SC on Saturday night.

Timothy Tillman's second goal of the season opened the scoring in the ninth minute for the Black-and-Gold, who did not score in their previous three matches.

Cristian Olivera and Eduard Atuesta added their first goals late to help LAFC (2-2-1, 7 points) remain unbeaten at home despite their recent offensive struggles. It was LAFC's largest margin of regular-season victory since a 5-0 home win over Charlotte on Aug. 13, 2022.

Those last two goals came well after Nashville (1-1-3, 6 points) was reduced to 10 men when starting goalkeeper Joe Willis was sent off in the 62nd minute for denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by handling the ball outside his penalty area.

Sam Surridge came closest to scoring for the Coyotes late in the first half, but his apparent goal was ruled offside.

Tillman put LAFC in front from close range on a rebound after Taylor Washington blocked Aaron Long's corner kick header on the line but couldn't clear the ball from danger.

It was Washington's foul on Tillman in the 17th minute that set up Bouanga's penalty-kick opportunity.

Bouanga converted easily, then rattled the crossbar and the upright in quick succession on chances later in the first half.

He didn't waste the next good look he received early in the second. It was an excellent team move, with Sergi Palencia providing a cross from the right and Atuesta opening up space with a clever dummy run.

That let the ball settle for Bouanga, who guided a right-footed low shot beyond Willis and inside the right post.

After Nashville was reduced to 10, Olivera scored another attack that flowed through Atuesta.

This time it was David Martinez who laid off Atuesta's pass into the penalty area for the Uruguayan to drive cleanly past reserve goalkeeper Elliot Panicco.

Atuesta completed the rout with a diving header in second-half stoppage time of Bouanga's cross.

--Field Level Media