It looked like the game was in hand for Los Angeles Football Club, until two late goals put an end to the dream of winning the second installment of El Trafico at Banc of California Stadium
In the end, LAFC garnered a 2-2 draw with LA Galaxy.
Here are our five takeaways from a game that, by many accounts, should have been a win for the Black-and-Gold.
Taking the foot off the gas
For 81 minutes, LAFC appeared to be in control. Two great goals early and a defense that looking like it would hold.
But, and we’ve seen this before, the Black and Gold let their opponents back in the game.
These mental breakdowns late in the game have to stop. Bob Bradley and team leaders have to stress the understanding that the game lasts 90 minutes.
Just because you have a lead doesn’t mean you can rest on your laurels. Of note, this is the fifth draw for LAFC and the fifth time they have blown a lead.
Hey Lee, nice shot
Midfielder Lee Nguyen had a glorious set piece midway through the first half and it was Laurent Ciman-like.
Inside the 20-yard area, Nguyen planted a free kick that was placed perfectly for LAFC’s second goal of the night.
It might have caught the Galaxy off guard as it came as Eduard Atuesta came on in substitution for Mark Anthony-Kaye in the 20th minute, but it was still a powerful strike.
The first goal of the night showed that the combination of Carlos Vela and Adama Diomande has the potential to be a very dangerous one.
Diomande placed a great cross into the area in the 7th minute that Vela headed nicely into the back of the net.
This could be one of the best combinations in MLS right now.
We’ve discussed the LAFC defense, but what happened in the 81st minute was pretty weak.
A poor first touch coupled with Ciman being out of position and weakly trying to throw a heel in the way of the Galaxy’s first goal was just elementary.
The second Galaxy goal wasn’t any better
Just five minutes later, without really pressing, the Galaxy managed to tie the game with a shot from Ola Kamara.
My first question is what in the world is Tyler Miller doing that far out of the area with no strong attack forcing the issue?
Miller had a great save earlier in the match but being that far out of position was a silly mistake. Staying put would have given Miller the ability to cut a potential angle for Kamara, but instead he was juked out leaving the net wide open.
Now that the stretch is over, LAFC will have about 10 days to regroup before going across the country to take on New York Red Bulls Aug. 5.
These 10 days are crucial after getting bombed out in Minnesota and failing to hang on against the Galaxy.
This team needs to become mentally tougher and learn how, not only to play on the road, but how to finish teams off in the latter stages of the match.
BONUS: Unfortunate for Kaye
You really hate to see it happen and it couldn’t have happened to a better player.
But, the ankle injury suffered by Kaye early in the first half will require surgery, possibly season-ending.
It is terrible news and we hope the best for a speedy recovery for the Canadian international.
What do you think? Post your comment below!