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Carlos Vela draws a blank as LAFC crash out of MLS Cup Playoffs

Seattle Sounders v Los Angeles FC - Western Conference Finals Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Former Monarcas Morelia striker Raul Ruidiaz was on target twice as the Seattle Sounders won 3-1 at LAFC to clinch a place in the 2019 MLS Cup Final.

After beating the LA Galaxy 5-3, the pressure was on LAFC to build on their historic win and it didn’t take long for them to jump in front when Eduard Atuesta fired the hosts into the lead from a superb free kick.

While the early goal might suggest that LAFC were on their way to a comfortable game, in truth the Sounders were giving the Black and Gold a real test and produced an equalizer just five minutes after. A determined Raul Ruidiaz put himself in front of goal with a brilliant reception to score the equalizing goal.

Four minutes later, the Sounders turned the game upside down when Nico Lodeiro struck home from long-range and put the ball into the bottom corner of the net.

In the second half, LAFC looked short of their usual self, particularly Carlos Vela who was shut down through the course of the game.

The Sounders, on the other hand, looked like a frequent threat on the break, and they eventually capitalized on that in the 64th minute. Raul Ruidiaz again found himself with space following a transition play and blasted in the 3-1.

The Sounders defense then took it on themselves and performed a composed final 25 minutes, although the game was marred by some questionable officiation mistakes in favor of Seattle. At the end, however, there was no excuse about it, the Sounders were deserved winners.

The Sounders will now take on the winners of the other Conference Final between Atlanta United and Toronto FC. As for LAFC, they finish the season as Supporters’ Shield Winners, but without an MLS Cup title to their name. The next time Carlos Vela and company take the field will be in February when they make their CONCACAF Champions League debut.