2018 Major League Soccer, Regular Season
  • Walker Zimmerman (15')
  • Adama Diomand√© (42', 48')

Adama Diomande hits brace to send LAFC past Colorado Rapids, clinch playoff berth

Adama Diomande found his scoring touch again with two goals as the visiting LAFC earned an MLS Western Conference playoff berth on Saturday with a 3-0 victory over the fading Colorado Rapids.

LAFC became just the fourth expansion club in MLS history to advance to the playoffs. LAFC head coach Bob Bradley guided two of those four clubs. He not only took an expansion Chicago Fire to the playoffs in 1998, that club won an MLS Cup.

The victory also moved LAFC into a second-place tie in the Western Conference with Sporting Kansas City, which played to a 1-1 tie against the Los Angeles Galaxy. Both teams trail FC Dallas. The top two teams in each conference earn a bye in the first round of the playoffs.

After an unexpected 3-1 defeat at Chicago last weekend, LAFC returned to its winning ways. The club was unbeaten in its previous six games before losing at Chicago.

The Rapids' free fall continued as Colorado lost its seventh consecutive match, a run that began with a 2-0 defeat to LAFC in Los Angeles on Aug. 19. The Rapids have been outscored 22-1 in those seven consecutive defeats.

LAFC got the jump on the Rapids early as Walker Zimmerman converted off a corner kick in the 15th minute with a header through the legs of Colorado goalkeeper Tim Howard. It was Zimmerman's third goal of the season.

Diomande scored his first goal in the 42nd minute when he took a Lee Nguyen feed on the left side of the box and scored past Howard with his left foot. It was Diomande's first goal in 12 matches.

His second goal came in the 48th minute when he took a feed from Aaron Kovar and slid a shot past a charging Howard. Diomande's 11th goal of the season tied him for the team lead with Carlos Vela.

LAFC goalkeeper Tyler Miller needed just one save to earn his 10th clean sheet of the season.