There was no stopping Diego Rossi and there was no stopping Los Angeles FC.
Rossi scored four times to lead LAFC to a resounding 6-2 victory over rivals the LA Galaxy in the MLS is Back Tournament on Saturday night. The game was tied after the opening 45 minutes, but a four-goal second half that included three tallies from Rossi gave LAFC the lopsided win.
Bradley Wright-Phillips and Mohamed El-Munir also got on the scoreboard in the rout for LAFC, which now has four points in Group F. The Galaxy have zero.
Rossi’s impressive showing started with a pair of equalizers in the first half. His first came in the 13th-minute off a penalty kick, and the second came seconds before halftime on a rebound.
The Uruguayan attacker capped his day with two more strikes in the game’s final quarter of an hour. He finished at the near post on a quick counter in the 75th minute before pushing home a low ball in the dying seconds.
Playing without Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez due to an injury sustained on Thursday, the Galaxy took the lead in the match after just four minutes when LAFC midfielder Latif Blessing accidentally directed the ball into the back of his own net.
The Galaxy’s lead did not last long, but they made it 2-1 in the 31st minute after Cristian Pavon scored a penalty kick of his own. Pavon had his initial attempt from 12 yards saved by LAFC goalkeeper Pablo Sisniega, but Sisniega was deemed to have jumped off his line and Pavon scored on the retake.
That was as close as the Galaxy got to prevailing. Wright-Phillips scored the game-winner in the 56th minute, placing a low curling shot inside the far post to make it 3-2. Rossi then it turned it on late, with a sensational blast from El-Munir sandwiched in between.
LAFC wraps up group play on Thursday night against Group F leaders the Portland Timbers. The Galaxy take on the Houston Dynamo earlier that day.
Man of the Match
Diego Rossi: How do you go against the player with the poker? You can’t. Rossi led LAFC’s attack on the night with his four goals, and was dangerous throughout. His finishing and overall play was superlative, and he also got an assist in a memorable performance.
Moment of the Match
Momentum-Shifting Mistake: The Galaxy were a mere seconds away from going into the break with a 2-1 lead, but a blooper at the back by centerback Daniel Steres allowed LAFC to gain confidence and seize all the momentum with a gut-punch of an equalizer.
Match to Forget
Daniel Steres: Not only was he on a back line that conceded six times, but he was largely responsible for Rossi’s tying goal just before halftime. Steres whiffed on a clearance attempt on the play, allowing Rossi to score with relative ease and setting the tone for a lopsided second half.