Los Angeles Football Club carried a 2-0 lead into the 80th minute in their second El Trafico rivalry game against the LA Galaxy on Thursday night, and yet again, they failed to win, as they let in two late goals to draw 2-2 at Banc of California Stadium.
LAFC started the scoring early, as a chance in the seventh minute in the box led to the ball trickling wide. Adama Diomande latched onto the ball, and with four men around him in the box, Carlos Vela connected with Diomande’s cross with a header to put the home side ahead.
A bittersweet couple minutes came around the 20th minute. First, midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye was clipped by Galaxy midfielder Perry Kitchen just outside the box, for a foul called. But Kaye was hurt, and had to be carried off the field and immediately out of the game, with replays showing a nasty ankle roll when he was caught by Kitchen. Reports during the game indicated a left ankle injury for Kaye and he was undergoing X-rays during the game.
Eduard Atuesta came off the bench to replace the Canadian, and on the subsequent free kick from that foul, Lee Nguyen stepped up and buried the set piece for his first LAFC goal. So, it was a bad spell with Kaye going off, but LAFC did get a goal, for a silver lining of it all.
From there, the game got choppy and ugly. Neither team really found a rhythm, and there were fouls aplenty.
The next good chance came just after the hour mark, with Benny Feilhaber’s shot from distance deflecting off a static Galaxy defender, but the contact sent the ball sailing just wide of the mark.
In the 76th minute, Andre Horta made his long-awaited debut for LAFC, coming off the bench for Nguyen.
But the Galaxy came roaring back late, as Romain Alessandrini received a feed from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and scored in the 82nd minute. Tyler Miller then stepped up with a massive save moments later to prevent an equalizer from Ola Kamara.
Then Kamara capitalized off a poor pass from Andre Horta, beating Miller and scoring the equalizer to make it 2-2 in the 86th minute.
A couple minutes later, Horta tried to make up for his gaffe with a blast, and it clanged off the post. It was LAFC’s second shot off the woodwork in the game, with Adama Diomande pinging a shot when LAFC were comfortably up 2-0.
The result? Leaving a bitter taste in the mouth. LAFC should have won this game, and once again, had a multi-goal lead on the Galaxy, this time into the 80th minute. Their defensive collapse is not only disappointing but it’s inexcusable at this point.
LAFC now get a little break, as their next game will be Sunday, Aug. 5 across the country as they take on the new York Red Bulls for the first time. The Red Bulls are battling for the Supporters’ Shield, so this will be another huge test for a team that keeps showing their defensive frailties, game after game.
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