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    Dénis Bouanga, LAFC top Vancouver to open CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal
    • April 6, 2023

    LAFC got another electric performance from Dénis Bouanga and took a big step toward advancing to the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals with a 3-0 rout of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the first leg of their quarterfinal matchup on Wednesday night at BC Place in Vancouver.

    LAFC scored all three goals during a 10-minute stretch of the second half, with Bouanga scoring twice and assisting on the other.

    Bouanga first drove a right-footed shot from distance over Vancouver goalkeeper Yohei Takaoka and off the underside of the crossbar in the 55th minute.

    Bouanga set up the second goal six minutes later when he took the ball away from Vancouver’s Andrés Cubas at the top of the Whitecaps’ penalty area. The loose ball rolled into the middle of the box for Mahala Opoku, who took a quick dribble before burying a left-footed shot inside the left post.

    Bouanga closed the scoring in the 65th minute, taking a pass from Timothy Tillman and eluding three defenders to score on a left-footed shot into the top left corner of the net.

    Bouanga leads the tournament with five goals in three games heading into the second leg, which is Tuesday night at BMO Stadium, where LAFC just needs to avoid a loss by three goals or more to reach the semifinals for the second time in four seasons.

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    ​ Orange County Register