Wonder strike or horrendous goalkeeping error? Doesn't matter to LAFC, which wins last-gasp home opener

LAFC players celebrate after Laurent Ciman’s game-winning strike against Seattle. (AP)
LAFC players celebrate after Laurent Ciman’s game-winning strike against Seattle. (AP)

The opening of LAFC’s Banc of America Stadium had everything for 90 minutes plus stoppage time. Everything but a goal, that is.

Laurent Ciman was happy to oblige.

The Belgian defender stepped up and struck a ferocious free kick with the outside of his right foot, one that caught Seattle’s Stefan Frei, arguably Major League Soccer’s surest-handed goalkeeper, off guard and parried into the left side of the net.

It all but sealed a 1-0 victory for LAFC in its first-ever home game at its $350 million downtown Los Angeles venue. Facing the two-time defending Western Conference champion Sounders, LAFC hoped to start the match with a bang.

That didn’t happen, but it sure ended with one:

Frei is best known for his heroics in Seattle’s shootout triumph in the 2016 MLS Cup final, and he’s normally reliable with shots hit in his vicinity, no matter the pace, power or movement.

But the 32-year-old Swiss looked confounded by Ciman’s strike, his first MLS goal since July 25, 2015, against — who else? — the Sounders.

LAFC is now second in the Western Conference with 15 points, two behind Sporting KC but also with two games in hand. The debutantes won four of their six away matches before construction was finished and their home stadium was ready to open.

Seattle, meanwhile, continues its poor start to the season, sitting last in the West on four points, tied for the lowest in the league with, ironically, fellow 2017 MLS Cup finalist Toronto FC.

Joey Gulino is the editor of FC Yahoo and moonlights as a writer. Follow him on Twitter at @JGulinoYahoo.

More soccer from Yahoo Sports:
Schaerlaeckens: Where is a league/cup double not enough? Barca
Barcelona regains La Liga title behind Messi’s hat trick
Napoli loss ends Serie A title race revival fairly quickly
Arsenal concedes late to lose to Manchester United
Man United gives Wenger a touching tribute at Old Trafford