Los Angeles Football Club posted their latest bit of team history on Sunday, as they played to their first-ever scoreless draw, against the Portland Timbers, in MLS regular season play at Banc of California Stadium.
Tyler Miller was pressed into action early, as a turnover by Benny Feilhaber that was recovered by reigning MLS MVP Diego Valeri forced a save from the LAFC goalkeeper. The Timbers controlled the chances in the opening 20 minutes or so of the game, before LAFC came into the match.
The hosts’ best look of the first half came in the 32nd minute, on a very tricky play, as Adama Diomande received a ball over the top and tried to volley it with the ball at about shoulder height, The shot forced a reaction save from Timbers goalkeeper Jeff Attinella.
The second half began cagey between the scoreless sides, but LAFC were trying more speculative shots, clearly in an effort to keep Attinella busy and prompt a rebound or a flub. Timbers forward Samuel Armenteros did have a shot clang off the bottom of the post a few minutes into the second half, but LAFC weathered the close call and the score remained 0-0. Armenteros helped set up another good save for Miller a few minutes later.
LAFC faced a late challenge when Lee Nguyen was issued a straight red card for an errant tackle on Sebastian Blanco in the 84th minute. Blanco hopped up mad as a hatter and seemed to want to fight the whole LAFC team, but referee Silviu Petrescu sent off Nguyen and issued a yellow card to Blanco.
Carlos Vela had a header right in front of goal in second-half stoppage time, but his shot was straight at Attinella, who caught it, snuffing out the last good chance of the match.
LAFC won’t have to exactly forget about this opponent, as they’ll have a second consecutive meeting at Banc of California Stadium against the Timbers, on Wednesday in the 2018 U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal. Biggest game of the year (so far)! We’ll see how that showdown goes.
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