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Urban Stalemate: LAFC 2, NYCFC 2

Entertaining game shows quality as Villa, Vela tally goals.

MLS: New York City FC at Los Angeles FC Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Football Club extended their unbeaten streak in MLS to six games, as they tied New York City 2-2 at Banc of California Stadium on Sunday night.

LAFC conceded first, not the first time this season that’s happened, in the 13th minute, after Eduard Atuesta handled the ball in the box, a call confirmed on Video Review. David Villa stepped up to take the penalty, and while Tyler Miller saved the spot kick in impressive fashion, Villa followed up on the rebound and headed it back into the net to put NYCFC ahead.

But the hosts tied up the game 10 minutes later, as a header by Walker Zimmerman on a corner kick was deflected into the net for an own goal by New York City defender Sebastien Ibeagha.

The game remained tight for the rest of the first half, and well into the second. While fouls piled up, it looked like both sides were playing cautiously and trying to ensure they would defend adequately against a multi-headed attack on either end.

In the 66th minute, LAFC found a moment of magic to move ahead, as a diagonal cross into the box was brought down by Mark-Anthony Kaye. Carlos Vela was standing right next to him, took the ball and calmly slotted it into the net, and it looked like LAFC would be on their way to three points, especially as they continued to put pressure on NYCFC’s defense for several minutes to look for an insurance goal.

But NYCFC were not ready to go out like that, and they tied up the game in the 75th minute, as substitute Ismael Tajouri-Shradi latched onto a partial clearance from Miller, after Steven Beitashour partially blocked Anton Tinnerholm’s sharp shot in the box.

LAFC nearly won the game in stoppage time, as Diego Rossi’s low-angled effort was deflected and bounced agonizingly wide of the far post.

All in all, it was an entertaining game that had a bit of a playoff game feel to it. Both teams had good moments, both showed fleeting glimpses of vulnerabilities, and in the end it was a stalemate, a fair result.

LAFC will be in action again next Saturday, when they hit the road again to face the Portland Timbers for the first time in a noontime kickoff. Will they keep their unbeaten run going? So far, so good at the moment for LAFC.

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