Los Angeles FC maintained top spot of the Western Conference in the MLS on Sunday, claiming a gutsy 4-2 win away to Orlando City.
LAFC led twice in the first half at Exploria Stadium but were pegged back on both occasions, first by a finely taken goal from Alexandre Pato in the 36th minute.
Sensing where the ball would drop following Mauricio Peyeyra’s delivery into the penalty area, Pato set himself and calmly volleyed past Maxime Crepeau.
But Ilie Sanchez rifled in a third LAFC goal six minutes into the second half and the visitors were able to absorb Orlando pressure thereafter.
After some important saves from Crepeau, substitute Kwadwo Opoku sealed victory in stoppage time, moving Steve Cherundolo’s side to 13 points from five games after four wins and a draw.
Meanwhile, Philadelphia Union were also able to keep their place atop the Eastern Conference with a 2-0 win at home to Charlotte FC.
The Union took the lead in uncomplicated fashion after only four minutes, with Sergio Santos running onto a ball over the top and crossing for Julian Carranza from the byline.
Daniel Gazdag doubled the lead a minute into the second half, with that two-goal margin enough for the Union to see out the win and themselves move to 13 points.
New York Red Bulls and Atlanta United stayed within three points of Philadelphia in the East with respective 1-0 victories over New England Revolution and DC United. Columbus Crew lost at home to Nashville, with Alex Muyl’s lone goal the difference.
A Gonzalo Higuain penalty counted for little for Inter Miami, who remain rooted to the bottom of the ladder in the East after Phil Neville’s side lost 3-1 to Houston Dynamo. Chicago Fire and FC Dallas played out a goalless draw, while Toronto FC beat reigning MLS Cup champions New York City 2-1.
CF Montreal edged FC Cincinnati in a seven-goal thriller, trailing twice in the first half before recovering to win 4-3.
In the Western Conference, Real Salt Lake fell two points behind with a 1-1 draw away to Colorado Rapids, while Austin FC conceded two goals in as many minutes to draw 2-2 against San Jose Earthquakes.
Ryan Raposo’s 73rd-minute winner was enough for Vancouver Whitecaps at home to Sporting Kansas City, while Brent Kallman’s own goal ultimately condemned Minnesota United to their first defeat of the season, losing 2-1 to Seattle Sounders.