Bouanga blasts hat trick as LAFC routs Austin FC

Denis Bouanga scored his ninth, 10th and 11th goals in nine games across all competitions, and LAFC remained undefeated on the season with a 3-0 win over visiting Austin FC Saturday evening at BMO Stadium.

Bouanga, who scored twice in LAFC’s CONCACAF Champions League first leg win over the Vancouver Whitecaps, struck once in each half in a rematch of Major League Soccer’s Western Conference final last season.

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Bouanga, from France, had never had a hat trick as a professional until this season, in which he has two.

LAFC (4-0-2, 14 points) has won 15 of its last 17 matches at BMO Stadium, its home pitch. Austin FC (2-3-1, 7 points) is winless in its last three matches.

Bouanga’s first goal came in the 40th minute when a deflected pass came to him near the top of the box, and he put it away. The second goal happened in the 58th minute, when another deflection came to Bouanga off a set piece and two touches.

Bouanga ripped a shot on the fly with his right foot and found the net.

Ten minutes later, a pass from Sergi Palencia came floating to the near post, where two LAFC players were waiting. The ball found Bouanga who scored from short range.

Bouanga was subbed off in the 71st minute after four shots on target overall.

Maxi Urruti had a good chance for Austin FC in the 44th minute, but his attempt was saved by LAFC goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic. The 38-year-old Jakupovic had four saves in his LAFC debut.

LAFC had 26 shots to nine for Austin FC. LAFC held second place in the West briefly Saturday, pending the outcome of first place St. Louis City SC and the Seattle Sounders.

Goalkeeper Brad Stuver finished with three saves for Austin FC. He’s allowed at least one goal in each of his last three starts.

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