Conceding late in the second half, LAFC succumbed to a 1-1 draw at home vs. bottom dwellers DC United.
It is their third draw at home in the league and the club have now dropped five points out of 6.
There were plenty of story lines in this match.
1. A clear and obvious……gray area?
Out of all of the stories in the match, the subject of VAR lead the headlines.
In the first half, LAFC got away with a penalty when defender Laurent Ciman looked to have palmed the ball with his hand. It went to VAR, but nothing was called.
In the second half, LAFC was awarded a penalty for a handball, but as Carlos Vela ran up to kick, the officials used VAR to see if was a clear and obvious mistake.
While it looked questionable, and certainly not clear and obvious, the head ref overturned the call and DC United were awarded a goal kick for their efforts.
After the match, Bob Bradley was furious about VAR and its impact on the match:
“It becomes so confusing between what gets looked and what doesn’t get looked at. For me, it drives me crazy and ruins the game. Some calls in football are 60-40, it’s just the way football works. Not everything is clear and obvious.”
Throughout the season, many clubs have been on the receiving end of calls that were affected by the use of VAR.
For VAR to overturn a call, it was to be a clear and obvious error.
As we’ve seen, many calls get overturned that aren’t clear and obvious.
As a result, there’s a gray area that’s been created that has made many managers and players furious.
Calls in football are subjective and close. The use of VAR needs to be better when determining what is a clear and obvious error on a call. It will take time to sort out, but it’s been a crutch to managers and players in the league this campaign.
2. LAFC continue to concede late goals
Last match against Portland, LAFC conceded the game-winner after a Diego Rossi chance led to a Samuel Armenteros solo run and goal. LAFC lost the match 2-1.
While down a man, Los Angeles stayed solid in defense and limited DC United’s chances on goal.
As we saw away at Providence Park, LAFC conceded another late goal as Darren Mattocks jumped over the defense and smashed a header home past keeper Tyler Miller.
LAFC need to play a complete 90 minutes and it’s been a problem for the club throughout the season. They drop points from winning position and it’s cost them dearly.
It doesn’t help the Ciman and Walker Zimmerman are on international duty, and Dejan Jakovic will be suspended for his red card in the match.
L.A. will be short of experienced defenders.
This is a crucial point in the season where they can’t afford to drop more points if they want to maintain their playoff spot in the Western Conference.
3. Still undefeated at home, but the draws keep piling up
With Saturday’s 1-1 result, LAFC are still undefeated at home.
Unfortunately, they have more draws than wins.
This season, LAFC have drawn three games at home against FC Dallas, NYCFC, and recently, DC United.
While they aren’t losses, they can’t afford to keep dropping points at home from winning positions.
All three matches Los Angeles has conceded late.
Overall, the blew four games from winning positions.
This a problem that will need to be solved if LAFC seek to remain a top team in the Western Conference.
LAFC will look to get all three points when they travel to Texas to take on FC Dallas June 2.
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