Los Angeles Football Club hosted Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday night in the expansion team’s first international friendly, and the teams played to a 1-1 draw at Banc of California Stadium.
It was an entertaining game, between a team in the middle of its season (LAFC) and one that is playing its final game before breaking for the season (Dortmund). Truthfully, Dortmund looked like a team that wanted to play out the string at times, although they did show quality, while LAFC was eager to play well, without anyone getting hurt. In that regard, it looked like it worked, so great job, everybody.
One of the interesting things about the game was the players used by Bob Bradley for LAFC. The starting lineup was slightly rotated but fairly strong, as it was:
GK: Tyler Miller
D: Tristan Blackmon, Dejan Jakovic, Laurent Ciman, Joao Moutinho
M: Eduard Atuesta, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Benny Feilhaber
F: Carlos Vela, Adama Diomandé, Diego Rossi
LAFC started out well and were the better side in the first half. They had a handful of near-misses, including this one from Atuesta in the 12th minute:
Excellent buildup by #LAFC. Atuesta skipped around a challenge and played a splitting ball to Rossi, who cut it back for Atuesta, and his shot was tipped over. Bob Bradley will be pleased with the good football. #LAFCBVB #MLS pic.twitter.com/oj5rZGYCCz— Jason Foster (@JogaBonito_USA) May 23, 2018
And there was a free kick from Ciman that was not spilled by Dortmund GK Roman Weidenfeller.
In the 26th minute, LAFC made their first subs, as Aaron Kovar replaced Vela and Latif Blessing came in for Diomandé.
Four minutes later, Lee Nguyen entered for Feilhaber.
At halftime, more changes were made: Shaft Brewer, Jr. entered for Ciman, and moved to fullback, with Blackmon shifting to center back, Calum Mallace replaced Kaye, and Charlie Lyon came into goal for Miller.
Shortly after the break Dortmund forward Max Philipp had a shot clang off the post, with shouts for a penalty as Jakovic pulled on his jersey, but referee Baldomero Toledo (heh) ignored them.
60 minutes in, Nico Czornomaz made his LAFC debut, replacing Rossi.
At about the 70 minute mark, Lyon stretched to make a save on Philipp’s blast.
In the 72nd minute, Jordan Harvey entered the match for Jakovic, and James Murphy made his debut for the team, entering for Atuesta.
In the 77th minute, LAFC found the breakthrough, as Lee Nguyen split out wide with the ball, then sent a low cross from the left. Aaron Kovar made a near post run and beat the defender to tap it in to make it 1-0 for the home side.
#LAFC have been stringing together quality attacking moves all game, tearing apart #BVB defense. They were finally rewarded with a goal after the great combination between Harvey and Nguyen, setting up Kovar. Good football, and a more than deserved lead. #LAFCvBVB #LAFCBVB #MLS pic.twitter.com/XO8M9Wtn8R— Jason Foster (@JogaBonito_USA) May 23, 2018
After the goal, the game opened up, and Philipp hit a beautiful blast from the half moon in the 87th minute to tie up the match.
Maximilian Philipp equalizes for #BVB. The game has opened up even more after #LAFC took the lead, and they were caught in transition. Unfortunate, after they've dominated the game. 1-1. #LAFCvBVB #LAFCBVB #MLS pic.twitter.com/5h6N1SEDRt— Jason Foster (@JogaBonito_USA) May 23, 2018
Kovar had a wide-open chance in the dying minutes to put LAFC ahead again, but his shot went just over the post.
So it ended in a draw, and LAFC used pretty much everyone, as promised. It turned out to be a decent showing, again, fingers crossed it appears no one got hurt, and LAFC held their own against a perennial Champions League side. Good job, and on to the next one, a league match on Saturday at home against D.C. United.
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