LAFC secured the Supporters' Shield for the second time in four years with Sunday's 2-1 win at Portland Timbers after Denis Bouanga's 95th-minute winner.

The Californian club capitalized on Philadelphia Union's 4-0 loss to Charlotte on Saturday, with Sunday's win moving them three points clear with one game to play. The MLS uses most wins as the first tiebreak if points are equal, with LAFC (21) ahead of Union (18).

Bouanga's maiden goal for LAFC came deep into second-half stoppage time and was the moment that clinched silverware, with the Gabon international jinking into the box before firing home a low shot.

Carlos Vela had a goalbound shot cleared off the line by Claudio Bravo in the 33rd minute, but the Mexican would not be denied with a curling left-foot strike from the edge of the box in the 51st minute.

Dairon Asprilla equalized with a powerful header from Bravo's 81st-minute cross, but Bouanga had the decisive intervention to clinch the Supporters' Shield for the visitors.

LAFC head coach Steve Cherundolo said: "These type of emotional endings in games seem to be a habit in this league, not quite sure why. We're ecstatic. We had a goal this year and we've achieved the first one."

Portland's loss meant Nashville clinched a playoffs spot for the third straight year despite losing 2-1 at home to lowly Houston Dynamo, for whom Sebastian Ferreira scored a double.

Seattle Sounders lost 1-0 at Sporting KC, confirming they will miss the playoffs for the first time in their 13-year history, marking the end of an era.

Reigning MLS Cup winners New York City made it back-to-back wins with a 2-1 home victory over Orlando City, who are hanging on for a playoffs spot.

Western Conference leaders LAFC re-discovered their form after a recent slump with a 3-1 home victory over Houston Dynamo on Sunday.

Carlos Vela scored a double, with both goals coming from the penalty spot, as LAFC secured only their second victory from their past eight games.

LAFC have a 15-1-0 record when scoring first this season although Houston leveled the game in the 24th minute from Corey Baird's classy goal after Vela netted an eighth-minute spotkick.

Vela restored LAFC's advantage from the spot on half-time after Fabrice Picault's handball was spotted by the VAR, with Ryan Hollingshead lifting home a third in the 52nd minute.

LAFC remain top of the Western Conference, nine points ahead of second-placed Austin, with two more matchdays until the postseason begins.

Gonzalo Higuain scored a 94th-minute winner to boost Inter Miami's playoffs hopes with a 3-2 road win over DC United, who had Christian Benteke net his first goal for the club.

Higuain struck the winner in the fourth of eight stoppage-time minutes, with a first-time strike from Deandre Yedlin's low cross from the right.

Benteke had opened the scoring in the 22nd minute with a back-post left-foot volley, before Leonard Campana's double for Inter.

Taxiarchis Fountas equalised in the 57th minute before Higuain's late winner, which means Inter are seventh in the Eastern Conference, moving above Columbus Crew, who conceded again late in a 1-1 draw with Portland Timbers on Sunday.

The Crew were denied all three points with Santiago Moreno lashing home a 95th-minute equaliser for the Timbers, after Kevin Molino's first-half strike.

Gonzalo Higuain netted a double to keep Inter Miami's playoff hopes alive with a 2-1 victory over Columbus Crew that ended their three-game losing streak on Tuesday.

In a game halted at half-time for a lengthy period due to a weather delay, Higuain struck either side of the break to collect three points that puts Inter up to eighth in the Eastern Conference, two points behind the seventh-placed Crew.

The 34-year-old former Real Madrid and Juventus forward opened the scoring in the 25th minute with a first-time finish on a fast break after Ariel Lassiter's pass.

Cucho Hernandez equalised for Columbus with a bouncing header in the 41st minute from Steven Moreira's cross.

The half-time delayed lasted more than two hours, with the second half commencing at 11:35pm local time, with Higuain having a good chance saved by Crew goalkeeper Eloy Room in the 54th minute.

The Argentine got the winner for Phil Neville's side in the 82nd minute with an angled left-foot finish beating Room at his near post from Alejandro Pozuelo's through-ball.

Montreal remained second in the Eastern Conference with a 3-2 victory over Chicago Fire, for whom Xherdan Shaqiri netted a brace from the spot.

Kei Kamara scored a double, opening up a 2-0 lead within half an hour for Montreal, setting up the game-deciding goal for Zachary Brault-Guillard too.

New England's playoff hopes took another hit with a poor 3-1 loss away to struggling Houston Dynamo with Fabrice Picault netting a pair for the winners.

Carlos Vela was on the scoresheet as Western Conference leaders LAFC drew 1-1 at Minnesota United, while Sporting KC eased past DC United 3-0.

Javier Hernandez missed another spotkick before Riqui Puig took over penalty duties to net a season-saving 99th-minute equaliser in the LA Galaxy's 1-1 draw at Nashville on Saturday.

Nashville had gone ahead in the 28th minute from Hany Mukhtar's penalty but Hernandez was the centre of attention once again.

The former Manchester United forward failed to convert a 97th-minute penalty attempting a Panenka last Sunday against Sporting KC, spurning a hat-trick and winner.

Hernandez stepped up again in the 55th minute after being bundled over by Shaquell Moore but had his low shot tipped around the post by goalkeeper Joel Willis.

With their season on the line, the Galaxy earned a late reprieve after a penalty was awarded for a Walker Zimmerman handball following VAR review, with the defender receiving a second yellow card.

But Riqui Puig grabbed the ball and took the responsibility instead of Hernandez, before firing just beyond Willis' fingertips for the goal.

The result means the Galaxy are winless in three games and sit eighth in the Western Conference on 40 points.

Western Conference leaders LAFC stumbled again, suffering their fourth loss in their past five games with a 2-1 defeat to Dallas.

Jesus Ferreira boosted his claims on a spot in USA's World Cup squad with a double for Dallas, while LAFC were reduced to 10 men after Ryan Hollingshead's 13th-minute red card.

Eastern Conference leaders Philadelphia Union showed why they are arguably the best team in the MLS with a 5-1 thrashing of Orlando City securing their fifth straight victory.

Lewis Morgan scored a 78th-minute penalty to help New York Red Bulls secure a 2-1 home win over New England to firm up their grip on third in the east.

New York City suffered their seventh defeat from their past nine games, going down 1-0 to Charlotte.

Brenner scored a hat-trick as Cincinnati extended their unbeaten run to nine games, winning 6-0 over San Jose Earthquakes

Thiago Almada fired in a golazo as Atlanta United defeated Toronto 4-2, while Inter Miami slumped to a third straight loss with a 3-1 defeat at Chicago Fire.

Seattle Sounders toppled Austin 3-0, Houston Dynamo and Sporting KC drew 0-0, Portland Timbers edged Minnesota United 1-0, Colorado Rapids beat Vancouver Whitecaps 3-1 and Real Salt Lake and DC United ended goalless.

Los Angeles Galaxy wasted a golden opportunity to bridge the gap between themselves and the Western Conference playoff spots when they were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw against Sporting Kansas City on Sunday.

In front of their home fans, Galaxy got off to flying start when Chicharito got on the end of a terrific ball from Victor Vazquez to put him through one-on-one with the goalkeeper, and he made no mistake with his finish hard and low across the goal.

It was Chicharito's 200th club goal of his career, and his 33rd for Galaxy after arriving at the club in 2020.

That would be the only goal of the first half, but a penalty to Sporting in the 67th minute changed the complexion of the contest, with Johnny Russell equalising.

The visiting Kansas City side would have liked their chances of escaping with all three points after Felipe Hernandez gave them the lead in the 76th minute, but there would be another twist in the tale as Galaxy were awarded a penalty in the dying minutes.

Chicharito stepped up to the spot and tucked away his penalty high into the top-left corner of the goal, giving him 14 in 26 games this campaign, and he had a chance to make it 15 when there was another penalty given in stoppage time.

Trying to secure his hattrick and the match, Chicharito opted for the audacious panenka penalty, but was left red-faced as John Pulskamp in the Sporting goals did not flinch, catching it easily.

Elsewhere in California, Los Angeles FC had a much easier time in their 2-0 victory against Real Salt Lake to strengthen their position atop the Western Conference standings.

After a scoreless first half, LAFC were dominant after the break, with Ryan Hollingshead finding the back of the net in the 49th minute and Cristian Arango doubling the advantage in the 68th.

Carlos Vela also missed a penalty for the home side in stoppage time, but his side were good value for their win, producing 3.16 expected goals compared to just 0.29 for Salt Lake.

The win moves LAFC nine points clear of the chasing pack in the West, while at the other end of the standings, Houston Dynamo were bumped down to the bottom after a 2-1 loss away against the Seattle Sounders.

It was Houston striking first, with Daniel Steres breaking the deadlock in the 26th minute, and that score would hold until Nouhou Tolo's equaliser in the 59th.

A missed penalty from Nicolas Lodeiro in the 75th minute appeared to be Seattle's wasted chance to secure all three points in front of their home fans, but less than a minute later a terrific cross from Tolo found Fredy Montero at the back post the head in the winner.

With Houston losing again, the San Jose Earthquakes took the opportunity to shed the last-placed tag with a 2-0 win against the Vancouver Whitecaps, thanks to first half goals from Jeremy Ebobisse and Jamiro Monteiro.

Despite only owning 35 per cent of the possession and finishing with 0.36 expected goals, New England Revolution treated their fans to an emphatic 3-0 home win against New York City, with Jon Bell, 17-year-old Noel Buck and Thomas McNamara providing the scores.

In the highest scoring game of the day, CF Montreal came away with a 4-3 win despite two goals from Toronto's Lorenzo Insigne.

The Portland Timbers took advantage of two penalties to defeat Atlanta United 2-1, and DC United fought out the only 0-0 draw of the day against the Colorado Rapids, with Christian Benteke missing a penalty for DC.

Reigning MLS Cup champions New York City slumped to their fifth loss from their past six games as Christian Benteke debuted for DC United who claimed an upset 2-1 win on Wednesday.

City had ended a three-game losing run with a 2-0 win at Chicago Fire 10 days before losing to Orlando City on the weekend but their poor form continued at Red Bull Arena.

Ola Kamara tapped in from point blank range to give the visitors at 24th-minute lead, but Heber side-footed in an equalizer three minutes later.

Steven Birnbaum restored United's lead with a header from a Martin Rodriguez free-kick in the 57th minute and City could not find a response with David Ochoa palming away Gedion Zelalem's 95th-minute effort.

The win is Wayne Rooney's second since taking over at United who are still last in the Eastern Conference, while it sees City slide down to fourth in the east.

Riqui Puig scored a spectacular late equalizer with a long-range curler after a give-and-go to earn LA Galaxy a 2-2 draw away to Toronto.

Douglas Costa had put the Galaxy into a 24th-minute lead before Toronto hit back with second-half goals to Jesus Jimenez and Filippo Bernardeschi before the Spaniard's 89th-minute strike.

Riqui Puig was making only his third appearance for the Galaxy following his August move from Barcelona.

The result dents star-studded Toronto's playoffs aspirations, leaving them 10th in the east, while the Galaxy are eighth in the west.

Philadelphia Union became the second team behind LAFC to book their postseason berth with a 4-1 home win over Atlanta United.

Julian Carranza, Mikael Uhre, Daniel Gazdag and Nathan Harriel were all among the goals for Union who are eight points clear in the east.

New York Red Bulls moved up to third in the east with a 1-0 win at second-placed Montreal with Lewis Morgan hitting the winner in the 43rd minute.

LAFC suffered a shock 2-1 loss to lowly Houston Dynamo, who condemning the Western Conference leaders to their third straight defeat.

Inter Miami slumped to back-to-back losses with a 1-0 defeat at Columbus Crew, while New England's winless run extended to four games after a goalless draw with struggling Chicago Fire who snapped a three-game losing run.

Hany Mukhtar netted a hat-trick as Nashville beat Colorado Rapids 4-1, while Orlando City came from two goals down to defeat Seattle Sounders 3-2.

Real Salt Lake proved too good for Minnesota United 3-0 and Portland Timbers moved into the west's top seven with a narrow win against second-placed Austin 2-1.

Reigning MLS Cup champions New York City slumped to their fifth loss from their past six games as Christian Benteke debuted for DC United who claimed an upset 2-1 win on Wednesday.

City had ended a three-game losing run with a 2-0 win at Chicago Fire 10 days before losing to Orlando City on the weekend but their poor form continued at Red Bull Arena.

Ola Kamara tapped in from point blank range to give the visitors at 24th-minute lead, but Heber side-footed in an equalizer three minutes later.

Steven Birnbaum restored United's lead with a header from a Martin Rodriguez free-kick in the 57th minute and City could not find a response with David Ochoa palming away Gedion Zelalem's 95th-minute effort.

The win is Wayne Rooney's second since taking over at United who are still last in the Eastern Conference, while it sees City slide down to fourth in the east.

Riqui Puig scored a spectacular late equalizer with a long-range curler after a give-and-go to earn LA Galaxy a 2-2 draw away to Toronto.

Douglas Costa had put the Galaxy into a 24th-minute lead before Toronto hit back with second-half goals to Jesus Jimenez and Filippo Bernardeschi before the Spaniard's 89th-minute strike.

Riqui Puig was making only his third appearance for the Galaxy following his August move from Barcelona.

The result dents star-studded Toronto's playoffs aspirations, leaving them 10th in the east, while the Galaxy are eighth in the west.

Philadelphia Union became the second team behind LAFC to book their postseason berth with a 4-1 home win over Atlanta United.

Julian Carranza, Mikael Uhre, Daniel Gazdag and Nathan Harriel were all among the goals for Union who are eight points clear in the east.

New York Red Bulls moved up to third in the east with a 1-0 win at second-placed Montreal with Lewis Morgan hitting the winner in the 43rd minute.

LAFC suffered a shock 2-1 loss to lowly Houston Dynamo, who condemning the Western Conference leaders to their third straight defeat.

Inter Miami slumped to back-to-back losses with a 1-0 defeat at Columbus Crew, while New England's winless run extended to four games after a goalless draw with struggling Chicago Fire who snapped a three-game losing run.

Hany Mukhtar netted a hat-trick as Nashville beat Colorado Rapids 4-1, while Orlando City came from two goals down to defeat Seattle Sounders 3-2.

Real Salt Lake proved too good for Minnesota United 3-0 and Portland Timbers moved into the west's top seven with a narrow win against second-placed Austin 2-1.

Inter Miami claimed a crucial three points in the race for the MLS playoffs with a 2-1 victory over star-studded Eastern Conference outfit Toronto on Saturday.

The win means Phil Neville's side are unbeaten in five games and have won three of their past four to move up to fifth spot in the east.

All the goal scoring action occurred in the first half, with Inter going ahead after Toronto goalkeeper Alexander Bono's inexplicable error from Jean Mota's hopeful long-range strike in the 24th minute.

Italian recruit Lorenzo Insigne produced a moment of magic with a low right-foot volley to equalise four minutes later.

But Inter restored their lead in the 44th minute with a classy set play from a free-kick ending with Damion Lowe nodding back for Ariel Lassiter to stab home from close range.

Toronto midfielder Michael Bradley forced a save in the 72nd minute while Filippo Bernardeschi had a 94th-minute penalty shout waved away for the visitors.

Eastern Conference leaders Philadelphia Union flexed their muscle with Julian Carranza netting a hat-trick in a 6-0 away win over struggling DC United.

Philadelphia were in a ruthless mood although it was scoreless until Mikael Uhre got free and squeezed in the opener in the 37th minute.

Daniel Gazdag netted a penalty won by Uhre on half-time, before Carranza scored three goals inside 27 second-half minutes capitalizing on some inexplicable passing from the United defence. Cory Burke curled in the sixth in the 79th minute.

Reigning MLS Cup champions LAFC went down 2-1 at San Jose Earthquakes but became the first side to book their playoffs spot by virtue of other results.

Colorado Rapids drew 1-1 with Houston Dynamo, who found a late equaliser from Sebastian Ferreira, while Vancouver Whitecaps could only draw 1-1 at Real Salt Lake, locking in LAFC.

Kei Kamara moved into outright third in the MLS goal scoring charts with his 135th career league goal as Montreal defeated New England 4-0.

Matt Miazga marked his return to the MLS with a goal in his second game for FC Cincinnati as they drew 1-1 at his former club New York Red Bulls.

Minnesota United boosted their playoffs' hopes with a 2-1 win over Austin thanks to Franco Fragapane's 62nd-minute winner.

Los Angeles FC showed why they are the MLS' best team this season as they hammered Charlotte 5-0 to move six points clear atop the Western Conference, with a game in hand.

LAFC controlled the first half, creating 12 shots to Charlotte's four, but after 45 minutes the sides went into the half-time break locked at 0-0 as the home side's attacks continued to falter in the final third.

Whatever the advice was during the break seemed to work a treat, with Jesus Murillo finding the breakthrough in the 49th minute when he headed home a stylish lofted through ball from Diego Palacios. That opened the floodgates, with Jose Cifuentes making it 2-0 10 minutes later, and Cifuentes then turned distributor in the 73rd minute to set up Carlos Vela for 3-0.

Cristian Arango got in on the fun to put home LAFC's fourth in the 76th minute, and an own goal in stoppage time from Charlotte captain Anton Walkes completed the rout.

Earlier in the day, it was Orlando City jumping up into the Eastern Conference's top-six with a 1-0 upset win away from home against New York Red Bulls.

Uruguay's Facundo Torres netted the game's only goal in the 17th minute to make it five matches without a win for the Red Bulls, who still sit fourth in the East.

In a back-and-forth contest, Cincinnati came back from an early 1-0 deficit to lead 2-1 at half-time through goals to Brandon Vasquez and Brenner, only to be denied the three points by an Andrew Gutman equaliser in the 83rd minute.

The East's bottom side DC United continued to struggle on their way to a 1-0 away loss against the New England Revolution, while the top side in the East, the Philadelphia Union, made it look easy as they treated their home fans to a 4-1 pummelling of the Chicago Fire.

Inter Miami held onto the seventh and final Eastern Conference playoff spot with their 3-2 win against New York City, thanks in large part to Alejandro Pozuelo's brace, with one assist coming from Gonzalo Higuain.

Austin FC came back from 3-1 down at half-time to steal a 4-3 win against Sporting Kansas City, with Sebastian Driussi netting the winner in the 94th minute, while Federico Bernardeschi and Lorenzo Insigne injected some Italian flavour with a goal each to help Toronto FC defeat the Portland Timbers 3-1.

The struggling Colorado Rapids will be the more pleased of the two sides after a 1-1 draw against the Colombus Crew, and a first-half double from FC Dallas' Jesus Ferreira was the catalyst in a 4-1 victory against the San Jose Earthquakes.

CF Montreal's Romell Quioto scored a penalty and missed a penalty in a 3-2 win against the Houston Dynamo to strengthen their second-placed position in the East, and a four-goal first half from Los Angeles Galaxy – including a goal and an assist for Chicharito – was more than enough to prevail 5-2 against the Vancouver Whitecaps.

The Vancouver Whitecaps produced a miraculous comeback to treat their fans to a 2-1 home win against the Houston Dynamo on Friday.

With both sides desperately needing the three points to stay in touch with the Western Conference playoff picture, it was Houston striking first through a corner in the sixth minute.

After the initial corner was cleared, Sam Junqua's floating ball back into the box beat the goalkeeper after it bounced, although Fafa Picault was credited with the goal after claiming he got a toe on it.

Houston controlled 63 per cent of the possession in the first half and were good value for their lead, leading the shot count six-to-three and the pass count 358-to-199.

But the longer the game went, the more passive the visiting side became, and instead of dictating the play, they sat back and looked to protect their lead.

A crazy day in MLS saw two 4-4 draws, with Phil Neville complaining Inter Miami had "defended like little boys" as they were held by FC Cincinnati.

Inter required a 97th-minute equaliser from Christopher McVey to rescue a point, despite having led 3-2 entering the final 10 minutes thanks to a first-half Gonzalo Higuain hat-trick.

Brandon Vazquez scored twice to turn the game on its head, leaving Neville furious despite McVey's last-gasp intervention.

"We defended like little boys, we defended naively, we didn't compete, we lacked discipline and concentration," the former Manchester United and Everton defender said. "And that's unacceptable, unacceptable.

"Simple balls into the box we didn't deal with. Simple concentration bits we didn't deal with.

"We are in the stage of the season where concentration is the main thing, concentration will get you to win games of football, and it's not going to be easy; you've just got to defend and do the right things all the time, and defensively we were as poor as we have been all season."

Remarkably, it was not Saturday's first eight-goal draw, as Minnesota United and the Portland Timbers had earlier played out a thriller.

Sebastian Blanco got the scoring started in the first minute, but there was no late drama in this one, with all eight goals netted before the 70-minute mark.

This was the first time in MLS history two matches on the same day have seen both teams score at least four goals, but there was a chasm between the Philadelphia Union and the Houston Dynamo in Saturday's third high-scoring game.

The Union ran out 6-0 winners as Mikael Uhre continued his stunning run of form at Subaru Park, netting either side of half-time for his fifth and sixth goals in his past four home games.

Uhre had also scored twice in a 7-0 defeat of DC United earlier in July, making Philly the first team to win multiple games by a six-goal margin in a single MLS season.

Elsewhere, New York City FC lost ground on the Union in the East as they drew with CF Montreal, while Sebastian Druissi continued his MVP bid by inspiring Austin FC to a 2-0 win at Sporting Kansas City.

"He continues to demonstrate why he deserves that [award]," said Austin coach Josh Wolff.

Los Angeles FC momentarily opened up a four-point gap atop the Western Conference in the MLS, defeating Sporting KC 2-0 on Saturday.

Gareth Bale came off the bench to score his first goal in the MLS and seal the three points for LAFC, after Cristian Arango's well-taken opener.

With Giorgio Chiellini also starting, Steve Cherundolo's side absorbed pressure after Arango scored in the 56th minute, firing past Tim Melia at his near post with a confident finish on the run.

Bale was able to settle the result in transition for LAFC in the 83rd minute, driving low into the corner after creating separation from Nicolas Isimat-Mirin.

The win puts LAFC four points ahead of second-placed Austin FC in the West, who are still to face New York RB on Sunday, while Nashville and Cincinatti played out a 1-1 draw.

FC Dallas kept their hopes of a top-four finish in the West alive meanwhile, emerging 1-0 victors away to Real Salt Lake, while Minnesota moved to third with their 2-1 victory over Houston Dynamo.

The Seattle Sounders are now a point from the playoff spots, overcoming Kelyn Rowe's 47th-minute red card to defeat the Colorado Rapids 2-1, while the Portland Timbers beat the SJ Earthquakes with the same result.

Philadelphia Union hold a one-point lead atop the Eastern Conference, with Daniel Gazdag's 39th-minute goal handing them a critical 1-0 win away to Orlando City.

The stingiest defence in the MLS held out to maintain their gap to New York City, who beat Inter Miami 2-0 via goals from Maximiliano Moralez and Heber.

CF Montreal moved back to third, with a Romell Quioto brace handing them a 2-1 win over DC United, while Toronto FC claimed a shock 4-0 win over a ten-man Charlotte FC.

Chicago Fire took advantage to move two points from the playoff spots, with Xherdan Shaqiri helping them to a 3-1 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps, while Columbus Crew and New England Revolution played out a goal-less draw.

 

New York City earned an important win for their season on Sunday, defeating local rivals New York RB to claim the Hudson River Derby on Sunday.

With City and NYRB second and third respectively in the Eastern Conference coming into Sunday's match, the stakes were higher than usual and it reflected in the fine margins the game was played within.

It was fitting the winning goal also reflected that, with NYRB defender Sean Nealis caught square for just a fraction of a second in the 69th minute, as the game grew increasingly tense.

That lapse was enough for Santiago Rodriguez to perfectly weigh a pass over his head for Valentin Castellanos, who ran onto it off his blind side, before finishing first-time past the approaching Carlos Coronel for his MLS-leading 13th goal of the season.

City restored their one-point deficit to the Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia Union with the win, while opening up a critical five-point gap to NYRB in third.

Elsewhere in the East, Atlanta United and Orlando City could only manage a 1-1 draw, while Columbus Crew took full advantage, moving to sixth win a 2-0 win over FC Cincinnati.

Meanwhile in the Western Conference, Giorgio Chiellini and Gareth Bale made their debuts for Los Angeles FC as they reclaimed top spot with a 2-1 win over Nashville SC.

Chiellini started while Bale came off the bench but by then, LAFC had already reclaimed the lead via Jose Cifuentes, after Hany Mukhtar cancelled out Cristian Arango's opening goal.

Real Salt Lake took full advantage, moving back into third in the West with a 3-0 win over Sporting KC, while Houston Dynamo claimed a 2-1 victory over the SJ Earthquakes.

In Sunday's final game, the traditional rivals from the NASL and USL in the Vancouver Whitecaps and Portland Timbers played out a 1-1 draw.

Austin FC claimed their fourth consecutive win in the MLS and top spot in the Western Conference, defeating cross-state rivals Houston Dynamo 3-1 on Tuesday.

Second-half goals from Maximiliano Urruti and Alexander Ring handed the three points to Josh Wolff's side, who now momentarily sit atop the West on 40 points, a point ahead of Los Angeles FC who have a game in hand.

High-profile signing Hector Herrera was unable to inspire another second-half fightback for the Dynamo in his starting debut, after coming on as a substitute in their 2-2 draw against FC Dallas in Saturday's Texas derby.

With the score locked at 1-1, Urruti broke the tight game open in the 57th minute, finely curling the ball around Steve Clark first time after a quick regain of possession.

Ring secured the win with a lovely team move in the 70th minute, with the midfielder attacking the penalty area to meet Ethan Finlay's cross after Austin played their way out from a goal-kick.

Austin now have the chance to take the Copa Tejas if they defeat the Toros on Saturday, with competition for the trophy coinciding with their introduction to the MLS in 2021.

High-profile debutant Hector Herrera led an inspired fightback for the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, with his side equalising twice to earn a 2-2 draw with FC Dallas.

After coming from behind and scoring an injury-time winner last time out in the Texas derby, the Toros hit the lead relatively early via captain Matt Hedges in the 27th minute.

Somewhat overshadowing the derby, Mexico international and recent high-profile signing Hector Herrera made his debut for the Dynamo, and it transformed the match.

Herrera moved to his natural position deeper in midfield upon his introduction, and his quick thinking at the dead ball allowed for Thorleifur Ulfarsson's equaliser in the 69th minute.

Jesus Ferreira scored in the 93rd minute for what appeared to be a winner for Dallas, but Teenage Hadebe scored a second equaliser for the Dynamo in the 111th minute, in what was a heated second half.

The Toros have not won in the MLS since May, bringing the LA Galaxy, Minnesota United and Nashville in contention for a home playoff in the Western Conference, despite Real Salt Lake's 2-2 draw against the Colorado Rapids.

Austin FC moved to second spot in the West, meanwhile, earning a 3-0 win over Atlanta United. Sebastian Driussi came off the bench to round out the scoring after a goal and assist from Ethan Finlay in the opening 20 minutes, setting up Felipe Martins.

Portland Timbers were 3-0 winners over the Seattle Sounders, while Charlotte defeated Nashville 4-1. In other inter-conference play, Toronto FC played out a 2-2 draw with the SJ Earthquakes while Sporting KC defeated CF Montreal 2-1. 

New York RB kept top spot in the Eastern Conference, but could only manage a 1-1 draw against a nine-man Cincinnati, following second-half dismissals for Allan Cruz and Luciano Acosta. Elsewhere in the East, Derrick Etienne scored a double off the bench to give Columbus Crew a 3-2 victory.

New York City moved to within a point of their cross-town rivals and Philadelphia Union, with a Valentin Castellanos brace helping them to a 4-2 win over the New England Revolution.

In Saturday's final game, a Damion Lowe own-goal in the 92nd minute handed Orlando City the three points, defeating Inter Miami 1-0..

 

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