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Jammed up: LA Galaxy 2, LAFC 1

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Rossi’s goal not enough as LAFC lose for first time in 2021.

MLS: Los Angeles FC at LA Galaxy Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

LAFC worked hard but lost their first game of the 2021 season on Saturday, as they fell 2-1 to arch-rival LA Galaxy at Dignity Health Sports Park on Saturday.

Diego Rossi scored his first goal of the season to briefly give LAFC hope they could push on for a winner themselves, but a goal and an assist from Chicharito left LAFC rueing their lack of finishing and their mistakes on the day.

LAFC missed Carlos Vela in this game, with Jose Cifuentes starting in his spot, effectively. Tristan Blackmon returned at right back in the XI.

Rossi had a good look in the 4th minute, with a ball over the top by Mark-Anthony Kaye, but the Uruguayan’s volleyed shot went just wide with Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathan Bond bearing down on him.

The Galaxy were a bit better in the opening minutes, and they got on the board in the 11th minute. LAFC tried to spring a quick counterattack and Galaxy defender Derrick Williams had a perfect slide tackle that somehow went straight to Chicharito, who flipped the counter and buried his chance in the box to give the home side a 1-0 lead.

LAFC got a good amount of the ball after the goal, but they didn’t have a ton of great chances, with Eduard Atuesta hitting a shot that forced a save from Bond in the 26th minute that was probably the best look since Rossi’s early attempt. A few minutes later, LAFC had a double chance, Bond saving shots from Rossi and Latif Blessing as LAFC really piled on the pressure.

The teams went into the locker rooms with the Galaxy leading by a goal, LAFC unable to cash in on their dominance over the course of the first half.

LAFC made two changes at the half, with Kwadwo Opoku entering for the ineffective Cifuentes and Marco Farfan replacing Diego Palacios at left back.

LAFC continued to push for an equalizing goal in the 2nd half and their looks were better, but still not finding any luck past the hour mark.

But they got the breakthrough in the 62nd minute, with Rossi scoring his first goal of the season, taking a give-and-go and finally getting a shot past Bond.

In the 70th minute, Kim Moon-hwan made his debut for LAFC, replacing Eddie Segura, with Danny Musovski entering for Corey Baird at the same time.

Jesus David Murillo made a mistake that led to the Galaxy’s winning goal, as the defender tried to dribble out of trouble in LAFC’s end and got picked off, with Chicharito sending a centering pass in the box that Jonathan dos Santos slammed home with a one-timer in the 79th minute.

Obviously losses always hurt, and losses in this rivalry hurt even worse. On the balance of play, LAFC probably ought to have gotten a result but they end up coming up empty and the team and fanbase will have to hear the jeers at least until the next matchup between these teams.

LAFC are back in action on Sunday, May 16, when they head to Seattle for yet another meeting against the Seattle Sounders. Obviously these teams played to a 1-1 draw last time, but LAFC have had a couple consecutive disappointing results and they can’t afford to have an off day against the Sounders, obviously.

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