03.05.2023 06:15 h

Los Angeles down Union to reach Champions League final

Los Angeles FC booked their place in the final of the CONCACAF Champions League on Tuesday after defeating Philadelphia Union 3-0 in their semi-final second leg to secure a 4-1 aggregate victory.

Midfielder Timothy Tillman opened the scoring for Los Angeles after 13 minutes, bundling home from close range after Union goalkeeper Andre Blake's superb diving reflex save from an Ilie Sanchez header.

That left Los Angeles in control after entering the second leg with a slender advantage after grabbing an all-important away goal in last week's 1-1 first-leg draw in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia's hopes of hauling themselves back into the tie fizzled with a limp second-half display and their task got harder on 59 minutes when Olivier Mbaizo saw red after a second yellow card.

Los Angeles made the game safe in the 82nd minute when striker Carlos Vela picked out Kwadwo Opoku inside the area and the Ghanaian blasted an emphatic finish high into the net.

Denis Bouanga completed the scoring with LAFC's third in the 90th minute.

The semi-final clash between the Major League Soccer rivals was a replay of last year's MLS Cup championship game, won by Los Angeles on penalties after a memorable final that ended 3-3 after extra time.

Tuesday's semi-final win sees Los Angeles enter the CONCACAF Champions League final for the second time in three years.

The MLS side reached the final of the top club tournament for teams from Central America, North America and the Caribbean in 2020, losing to Mexico's Tigres UANL 2-1 in a game played behind closed doors in Orlando, Florida due to the pandemic.

Los Angeles could face Tigres again in this year's final.

Tigres lead fellow Liga-MX side Leon 2-1 heading into their semi-final second leg on Wednesday.