The final stretch of the season hasn't been the strong finish the club would have hoped for. Having lost four of their last five, and seen their grasp on the Supporter's Shield slip so much Philadelphia Union now controls the race, LAFC traveled to face Minnesota United on short rest and looking to get their confidence back.
The first half was all Minnesota, who came out ready from the starting whistle. The Loons finished the half with more shots, 6-4, with two of those shots coming within inches of an early lead. Just when it looked like LAFC would be lucky enough to go into the halftime break even and scoreless, Minnesota got one final corner before the half and took advantage of it.
Minnesota defender Brent Kallman climbed the ladder, and got his head on the corner kick. The header had enough on it to rocket past Crepeau for the lead just before the break. It was Minnesota’s first goal in three matches, and another deficit for the black and gold to overcome with a strong second half.
It may have been a month since his last goal, but when the team needed him the most, it as El Rey who delivered. In the 62nd minute Carlos Vela unloaded from deep when he found just enough room to let it fly, and fly it did. The captain hit from range to bring LAFC level and put them right back in the driver's seat to clinch the conference tonight.
The final whistle blew and the match ended with points shared and disappointment for everyone. Minnesota will come away feeling the better side on the day, and should have honestly come away with all the points at home. While drawing on the road, on a short-turnaround is typically a great result, given the context of the past month and LAFC’s position, this result leaves a bad taste.
The team are back on the pitch this Sunday, and luckily back at home. They will need all the support and help they can get when they host a Houston Dynamo side that has already beaten this squad in recent weeks. The brightest of silver linings is that the postseason ticket has long been punched, and for a team as good as LAFC, it just takes on solid performance to spark a run. Let's hope this Sunday provides that spark.
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