After a long road trip to start their first season the Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) wanted to end their first home stand on a positive note as they took on New York City FC (NYCFC). Los Angeles was coming off a 2-0 midweek win over Minnesota United, while NYCFC was reeling after a 4-0 drubbing in the New York City Derby against New York Red Bulls.
Coach Bob Bradley again employed the four back line that has worked the last two home games against FC Dallas and Minnesota United. Bradley was probably hoping to maintain the great defensive work on the homestand as LAFC had only conceded one goal in their last three games.
LAFC didn’t get the win and had to settle for a 2-2 tie, but they remained unbeaten at home collecting points in every game.
LAFC started the game strong by putting sustained pressure on NYCFC, but they went down early in the game thanks to the dreaded video assistant referee (VAR) system. Midfielder Eduard Atuesta’s hand got in the way of shot while in the box, the shot deflected out but NYCFC appealed and the referee went to the VAR system. NYCFC was proven right and awarded the penalty.
David Villa took the shot, LAFC goalie Tyler Miller guessed right making the save. Unfortunately Villa pounced on the rebound and slotted home the opening goal at the 13th minute mark.
Attack, Attack, Attack
LAFC looked like the stronger team putting on wave after wave of attacking soccer and putting pressure on the NYCFC back line. They were rewarded in the in the 23rd minute when Walker Zimmerman’s header glanced off of Sebastian Ibeagha’s foot to net the equalizer.
After halftime LAFC continued their attack, surprisingly they hadn’t gotten a shot on goal up until the 60th minute of the game. After a free kick hit the post, LAFC’s pressure finally cracked the NYCFC defense as Carlos Vela slotted home his sixth goal of the season and gave LAFC their first lead 2-1 at the 66th minute of the game.
Man of the match Latif Blessing had an especially strong game, and was wreaking havoc from the wings.
Whether it was fatigue or having to face a team that could finally attack, The black and gold started to make some defensive mistakes after taking the lead. NYCFC pressed their own attack and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi equalized at the 75th minute. Tajouri-Shradi scored on a difficult angle, a shot that hit the right inside part of the goal. Miller had no chance to get it and conceded his first goal from run of play since the FC Dallas game.
NYCFC stayed aggressive and Los Angeles were saved from losing by Tyler Miller’s hands and by LAFC’s backline shoring up things again.
A 2-2 draw is not what LAFC wanted but they’ll take it after a frantic end to the game.