Diomande late goal lifts LAFC to season-opening win

LAFC's Carlos Vela dribbles past several Sporting KC players during Sunday's game. (FERMIN LEAL, FUTBOLDAILY.COM)

Adama Diomande’s goal in the fourth minute of extra time gave LAFC a stunning 2-1 comeback victory against Sporting Kansas City in the 2019 season opener Sunday at Banc of California Stadium.

The game featured the top two teams from last regular season in the Western Conference.

LAFC controlled possession most of the game, and had the bulk of the scoring opportunities throughout, but trailed going into the second half.

Sporting KC’s Krisztian Nemeth gave his team the lead in the 16th minute with a strike on goal.

LAFC maintained the pressure on the Sporting KC defense from then on. Diego Rossi tied the game just after the start of the second half after he dribbled across the box and scored on the bottom left corner of the goal, just out of the reach of goalkeeper Tim Melia.

LAFC’s Diego Rossi celebrates after scoring the goal to tie the game Sunday. (FERMIN LEAL, FUTBOLDAILY.COM)

Sporting KC lost midfielder Roger Espinoza in the 81st minute to a second yellow card, and played the rest of the game with 10 men. It appeared that the match would end in a draw until Diomande took a pass deed in the Sporting KC box from teammate Jordan Harvey. Diomande buried the shot in the top of the net to seal the victory.

“I was thinking ‘let’s go for it,’” Diomande, who came off the bench in the 59th minute, told the Los Angeles Times. “Then we got a good counterattack to Jordan. I just [snapped] it from him because I know I’m in better position … and hammered it in.”

LAFC next play the Portland Timber at home at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.

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