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    LAFC moves into 2nd in West, eliminates Austin from playoff contention
    • October 8, 2023

    AUSTIN, Texas — Dénis Bouanga’s big week has helped LAFC surge past the Seattle Sounders in the race for the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference playoffs.

    Bouanga scored twice to extend his MLS lead to 19 goals this season and LAFC (14-10-9, 51 points) moved one point ahead of Seattle (13-9-11) and into second place with a 4-2 victory over Austin FC on Saturday night, eliminating the Texans’ playoff hopes in the process. LAFC and Seattle both have one game left in the regular season, with LAFC playing at fifth-place Vancouver on Oct. 21 and Seattle playing at first-place St. Louis City SC the same day.

    Bouanga, who had three goals in a 5-1 victory over Minnesota United on Wednesday night, recorded his fifth multi-score game of the season, the second-most in a single season in club history behind Carlos Vela’s seven in 2019.

    LAFC has won six of the eight all-time meetings, with Austin winning the other two.

    Austin (10-15-8, 38 points) was coming off a 3-0 win over D.C. United on Wednesday to snap a club-record 10-match winless run in all competitions.

    Timothy Tillman opened the scoring in the 13th minute and Bouanga hammered in a penalty kick just before halftime. Bouanga made it 3-0 in the 54th and Cristian Olivera gave LAFC a four-goal lead in the 68th.

    Leo Väisänen scored his first MLS goal for Austin in the 75th and they benefited from Giorgio Chiellini’s own goal in second-half stoppage time.

    LAFC has totaled nine goals in two games this week.

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    ​ Orange County Register