Carlos Vela scored for the fourth consecutive game, but LAFC conceded at the death to draw Minnesota United 2-2 on Wednesday at The Banc.
Hassani Dotson scored on effectively the final kick of the game to split the points, after it looked like Tristan Blackmon’s goal was going to win the match for LAFC.
There were no major surprises for LAFC’s starting lineup, although Eddie Segura missed the game with a knee injury, and Diego Palacios got the start on the night. Bob Bradley used the 5-3-2/3-5-2 he’s been using lately with this group.
Vela tried to get off a quick start, with a trademark left-footed curler from the right side going just wide of the mark just two minutes into the match.
Vela forced a stop from former teammate Tyler Miller 10 minutes later, and LAFC continued to push to get the game’s first goal.
Minnesota sat deep and stymied LAFC for most of the first half, but LAFC finally found the breakthrough in the 40th minute, as Jose Cifuentes made a vital interception in midfield and sprung Vela on the counter, with Vela making no mistake this time on the counterattack.
They then nearly conceded before halftime, but the ball that looked bound to be an own goal fortunately squirted just wide of goal and LAFC went into the halftime break leading 1-0.
Raheem Edwards entered the game at halftime for Jesus David Murillo, hopefully just a move done for rotation’s sake.
But Minnesota found the equalizer in the 49th minute, as Emanuel Reynoso beat Marco Farfan on the dribble with his angled finish.
LAFC looked like they were running out of gas as the second half wore on, but they grinded for another go-ahead goal, and found it in the 77th minute, as Blackmon headed in Eduard Atuesta’s corner kick to make it 2-1.
Diego Rossi nearly had the insurance goal for LAFC in the 83rd minute, but the ball got uncharacteristically tied up under his feet, and he dragged his finish just wide of the far post.
LAFC goalkeeper Tomas Romero came up big in stoppage time, making a vital double save to keep the Loons from finding a late equalizer.
But it wasn’t enough, as Dotson hit a blast in the 95th minute to give Minnesota the 2-2 draw.
It’s the second time in three games that LAFC have conceded at the death, and when the team is not scoring freely, that’s not something they can get in the habit of doing. I think this result, while a draw, is in many respects worse than their collapse last week against the Portland Timbers, in large part because this game was not on the road but at The Banc, and LAFC should have either controlled the game a bit better to the final whistle, or better, scored an insurance goal to put the win out of reach. As it stands, it’s frustrating, and getting a point out of a game that LAFC were the better side won’t be any consolation here.
LAFC get a week before their next game, Wednesday against Sporting Kansas City at home. It’s a chance for LAFC to even up the season series against SKC, after a 10-man side lost at Kansas City in recent weeks. We’ll see!
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