Press vs Counterpress
LAFC and the Red Bulls faced off against each other, and early on some of the best strengths of each team came into play. The Red Bull teams around the world are known for their pressing style, and the New York version used that early against LAFC, coming after them whenever LAFC had the ball in their defensive area. LAFC was able to mostly play through the press, showing good patience and skill to avoid turnovers. On the other end of the field, LAFC employed their counterpress, working hard to put pressure and try and win the ball back quickly after they would lose possession. Neither approach lead to a goal early on, but each team stuck to their strengths early on.
Jordan Harvey gets his goal
LAFC did eventually break through first, and the scorer was probably the most unlikely goal scorer on the team, Jordan Harvey.
It was Harvey’s first goal since 2017, his first in league play for LAFC, and just his 12th career goal for a player who has played in double digit seasons in MLS. It was a very well taken header on a nice free kick by Carlos Vela, and it gave a LAFC the lead in what had been a tight game up to that point.
LAFC give up the lead right before halftime
LAFC had done well to get a two-goal lead, but the Red Bulls had their chances in the time after LAFC got the lead. The Red Bulls were finding time and space on the counter, and they were very much in the game. Ironically, the visitors’ first goal was not that, it came off a turnover from Latif Blessing in the defensive end, and then the ball pinged around the box until Cristian Casseres fired home a shot that snuck in the corner. You could argue that Tyler Miller should have done better with the shot. He could do nothing about the second goal though, as Daniel Royer was sprang free on the left, and then his cross found Brian White, who hit the post but then the ball went off the back of Tyler Miller and into the net to make it 2-2. On the balance of play, 2-2 was probably a fair scoreline at the break. Still, it was concerning that the Red Bulls were finding so much time and space in behind, especially after LAFC took the lead.
A back and forth game throughout
The second half continued like the first, a back-and-forth affair in which both teams had good chances.
LAFC had a goal disallowed early in the second half on a foul from Mark-Anthony Kaye.
On the other end the Red Bulls had more chances, including one by White that went just wide.
Then LAFC took a 3-2 lead in the 60th minute. Eduard Atuesta was taken down by a Red Bull defender in the box, and Carlos Vela slotted home the penalty.
LAFC finally got a bit of breathing room in the 72nd minute, when another brilliant free kick delivery by Vela was headed home by Eddie Segura. It was almost a carbon copy of the first goal that Harvey scored.
A nice win at home against a top team
It wasn’t quite a vintage LAFC performance, and there were some concerns, especially at the back, but LAFC were able to get a nice home win against a good team. The march for the Supporters’ Shield continues, and LAFC picks up another win against a top team in MLS.
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