Cristian Arango and Diego Palacios lead LAFC to victory over New York Red Bulls




Los Angeles FC forward Latif Blessing (7) jumps over New York Red Bulls midfielder Lewis Morgan.
Los Angeles FC forward Latif Blessing (7) jumps over New York Red Bulls midfielder Lewis Morgan.  

Cristian Arango and Diego Palacios scored three minutes apart in the second half as LAFC pulled away for a 2-0 victory over the New York Red Bulls on Sunday.

MLS-leading LAFC improved to 10-3-3 with its fourth shutout of the season and capped a momentous weekend of activity. Co-president and general manager John Thorrington confirmed after Sunday's match that the club has signed Welsh forward Gareth Bale along with reaching an extension with Carlos Vela.

The 32-year-old Bale is expected to move stateside in the next two weeks after spending most of the past nine years with Real Madrid.

New York (7-5-5) started 5-2-1 on the road, but has dropped three straight away from home - without scoring.

Arango scored in the 67th minute, less than three minutes after coming into the game. The midfielder just stayed on onside when he took a touch pass from Carlos Vela. Red Bulls defender Dylan Nealis got caught out of position, allowing Arango to have a wide-open chance at goal as he put a right-footed shot in from the center of the box.

Arango has five goals this season and has scored in three straight MLS matches.

"We understood that we have the ability to change games with our bench. And we did once again," LAFC coach Steve Cherundolo said. "That was the plan going into this match and turned out that way, Very rarely do things actually work out the way we think but today they did."

Palacios got his first LAFC goal in the 70th minute on a breakaway. Brian Rodriguez started the break, but was met by two Red Bulls defenders in the box before he found a wide-open Palacios, who had plenty of time to get left-footer past Red Bulls goalkeeper Carlos Coronel.

The Red Bulls' best opportunity for a goal came in the 74th minute, when Lewis Morgan's shot from 18 feet out was knocked away by LAFC goalie Maxime Crepeau.

The Red Bulls outshot LAFC 16-12, but LAFC had a 5-4 advantage in shots on goal.

Coronel had three saves for the Red Bulls. LAFC's Crepeau stopped four shots.

"I think against the team on this level you realize you're not going to get so many chances but the ones you get we have to be sharper and clearer," Red Bulls coach Gerhard Struber said. "We have to realize moments in transitions. We weren't in good balance and missed a little bit of the sharpness to find the chances in the opponent's box."

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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