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Ten Wasn’t Enough: LAFC 1, D.C. United 1

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Shorthanded hosts can’t see out victory.

MLS: D.C. United at Los Angeles FC
Rossi scored for LAFC, but it wasn’t enough for the win.
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Football Club played more than a half down a man, and led for about that long, but could not hold on for a win, as they tied D.C. United 1-1 at Banc of California Stadium on Saturday night.

The first 38 minutes were tight and cagey, but the game blew open in the 39th minute, when LAFC took the lead via Diego Rossi. The Uruguayan, scoring his first goal in seven games, latched onto a bouncing ball after Mark-Anthony Kaye’s progress was halted in the box, and stroked the shot into the net.

Moments later, Tyler Miller made a remarkable double save to preserve LAFC’s lead.

From there, the high turned to a low, as Dejan Jakovic was sent off in first-half stoppage time for a studs-up tackle on Paul Arriola. It didn’t look like a tough tackle at first, but the bottom of his boot did go into Arriola’s ankle, and referee Ismael Elfath did not hesitate to give the Canadian his marching orders.

Following the break, LAFC continued to push for an insurance goal, but it looked like D.C. would get a penalty, after Laurent Ciman went down in LAFC’s box and handled the ball on his way down. Following Video Review, the possible penalty was reversed, for an apparent foul by Darren Mattocks on Ciman that brought him down.

A few minutes later, LAFC were awarded a penalty after Zoltan Stieber handled the ball in D.C.’s box, but on Video Review, that was also overturned, as evidently Stieber’s contact was deemed unintentional.

It looked as though LAFC may hang on for the win, but D.C. tied up the match in the 84th minute, with Joseph Mora’s floating cross being headed against the grain by Paul Arriola, with Darren Mattocks in the right spot to head in the ball and make it 1-1.

Frederic Brillant had a late chance to win it for D.C., as his header off a corner kick in stoppage time bounced off the post before it was cleared by an LAFC player.

And that’s how it ended, in a deadlock. LAFC will probably have mixed feelings about the result. On one hand, they held on for a draw while playing down a man for a full half. On the other hand, they were just a few minutes away from winning, and when it came to chances, LAFC were far more active in attack than D.C. But them’s the breaks sometimes.

LAFC will be back on the road next week, playing a repeat opponent, FC Dallas, in Texas. They drew them 1-1 last time out — can they spring a road win in a tricky environment? Time will tell.

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