Vela scores hat trick as LAFC thumps San Jose Earthquakes

ByReuters ESPN logo
Saturday, March 30, 2019

In a clear-cut example of the best team and the worst in the MLS Western Conference, LAFC went on the road and put a 5-0 thumping on the San Jose Earthquakes behind three goals from Carlos Velaon Saturday.

LAFC, which set an MLS record for points for an expansion team while on the way to a playoff berth last season, has not missed a beat in the early part of this campaign.

San Jose (zero points), who mustered all of four wins a season ago, has started out poorly once again. The Earthquakes have been outscored 14-2 in their four matches.

There's little margin for error when a team takes on LAFC, and San Jose made the first mistake in the eighth minute, allowing the game's first goal.

San Jose goalie Daniel Vega came charging off his line and out of the penalty box to clear a LAFC pass down the middle of the field. Vega did get to the ball before Vela, but the Earthquakes goalie missed the ball when he tried to clear it, allowing Vela to walk the ball into the goal for the 1-0 lead and what turned out to be the game winner.

In the 26th minute, LAFC made it 2-0 when Steven Beitashour received a brilliant pass from Eduard Atuesta in the San Jose penalty box, then slid it past Vega for the 2-0 lead.

In the third minute of extra time in the first half, Vela scored again, this time first-timing a cross from Diego Rossi home for the 3-0 lead at the break.

Vela got his third goal 20 minutes into the second half with a left-footed swinger from 20 yards out to make it 4-0. Two minutes later Rossi took a pass from Vela in the penalty area and slid it past Vega for the 5-0 lead.

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