LOS ANGELES, CA- LAFC and LA Galaxy faced up each other for the second time this year but this time at the Banc of California (LAFC Home), not the Dignity Health Center (LA Galaxy Home). There is a different atmosphere at the Banc with the 3252 supporter group chanting all game long even singing the national anthem and help to announce players. There isn’t a fan base quite like this and that’s what makes LAFC different from any other football club.
Before I could even set up my computer at my media table, Zlatan Ibrahimovic splitting two defenders scoring with the first two minutes (1:47 to be exact). To add to the fire Zlatan did his signature goal celebration right in front of the 3252 with the biggest smile on his face, that had the stadium shaking like an earthquake. Not 10 minutes later the equalizer came from FW Latif Blessing at 12”.
No more than 3 minutes later a big blow ht LAFC as both Zlatan and Pavon scored on back-to-back minutes 14”-15”. The goal at the14th minute came by a clearing that grazed the head of DF Walker Zimmerman which resulted in Zlatan being wide open on a 1-on-1 with GK Miller which than resulted in a goal. Now outside wasn’t called because of the fact that Zimmerman made a play on the ball negated where the opposing player (Zlatan) was outsides or not. The biggest thing with this is whether Zlatan was outsides before the “play on the ball” made from Zimmerman? A bit confusing but that was a recent rule change.
Before the half, Latif Blessing managed to get his second goal of the game at 45+1”. It was a close outside but a Galaxy defender deflected the game right into the feet on Blessing for a baby love tap to make it 3-2 right at the half.
To open up the second half, 2 minutes and 46 seconds to be exact, the crowd got what they wanted a Carlos Vela goal. Vela scored his 27th goal of the season securing his MVP candidacy. Vela had 3 shots on target blocked before this one so it was just a matter of time before he scored. At the 60” Vela was subbed out for Brain Rodriguez, due to tweaking in his right hamstring, Vela and the whole stadium was upset but Head Coach Bob Bradley said, “Didn’t want to take any chances.”
After the 80” minute of the game that’s when it got very suspenseful. Three yellow cards were placed on LA Galaxy’s Favio Alvarez, Servando Carrasco, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. At the 87” LAFC had one last shot to take the win and complete the comeback by Brain Rodriguez overshot it and the gasps filled the stadium. The same for LA Galaxy as well att the 90+2” by Ibrahimovic but missed as well.
This game resulted in a 3-3 draw in one of the most intense derbies of the year. The exciting part is we can see these two teams can face off in the playoffs. LAFC already secured their spot in the playoffs so if indeed they do face the Galaxy it will most likely be at the Banc of California Stadium which will give the home-field advantage with the 3252 chanting all game long. All in all, LAFC has the best record, one of the best players in Vela and got the heart to become MLS Champions. The LA Galaxy are 4th in the Western Conference and tied with Minnesota United in points with 42. With 7 games left in the season a lot can happen, stay tuned.