2018 Major League Soccer, Regular Season
  • Carlos Vela (44' PEN, 78')
  • Adama Diomand√© (53')
  • Walker Zimmerman (58')
  • Mauro Manotas (33')
  • Andrew Wenger (80')

Carlos Vela stars as LAFC beats Houston Dynamo to go second in West

Carlos Vela scored his 12th and 13th goals of the season and added two assists as LAFC romped to a 4-2 victory over the Houston Dynamo on Friday night at Banc of California Stadium.

Adama Diomande added his 12th goal of the season, and Walker Zimmerman headed in his fourth as LAFC moved into sole possession of second place in the Western Conference and within a point of leader FC Dallas.

After falling behind early, then waiting through a lengthy weather delay, LAFC scored four unanswered goals to pull away to a third win in its last four matches.

Mauro Manotas scored his team-leading 16th goal for Houston, which lost its second in a row after being officially eliminated from playoff contention in its previous defeat.

Andrew Wenger added a late consolation strike for the Dynamo, who also endured a lengthy delay in their previous match against LAFC this season in Houston.

This time, lightning halted play for 1 hour and 45 minutes late in the first half. When it resumed, LAFC equalized just nine minutes following the restart and two minutes before halftime.

Lee Nguyen spotted Vela open at the top of the penalty area, and Vela induced Tyler Deric into a foul after touching the ball around the charging goalkeeper. Vela stepped up and drove the resulting penalty inside the right post and beyond Deric's dive.

Eight minutes after halftime, Diomande gave LAFC the lead. Vela was again involved, taking a pass from Diego Rossi on the left side of the penalty area before supplying a firm cross into the box. Diomande met it at the back post, slamming it with one touch into an open goal from close range with Deric stranded.

Zimmerman made it 3-1 when he nodded in Vela's corner kick five minutes later, his fourth goal in as many matches, all coming from corners. Then Vela added a second on a 78th-minute chip, before Wenger's consolation strike followed two minutes later.

Manotas put Houston ahead in the 33rd minute, and just as torrential storms were beginning at Banc of California Stadium. Oscar Boniek Garcia played a give-and-go with Tomas Martinez to get into the box, then slotted a pass to the right, where Manotas resurfaced to hammer in a low finish.

Three minutes later, play was halted.