LA Galaxy and Los Angeles FC tie 3-3 in match hosted at Banc of California Stadium.
By Benjamin Royer, Valley Life Editor
Both Los Angeles Major League Soccer clubs competed in a neck-to-neck draw that was anything but stale in action.
Last Saturday night [Aug. 28] brought Los Angeles the latest entry into the rivalry dubbed El Tráfico. Los Angeles Football Club (6-6-9) tied 3-3 with their crosstown rival Los Angeles Galaxy (11-3-8) in a match between squads on opposite sides of the standings. A sell out crowd saw LAFC forward and Uruguayan international Brian Rodriguez and Galaxy forward, Serbian international Dejan Joveljic both score two goals, but neither of their performances helped end the contest in victory for their respective teams.
In the 20th minute, Galaxy right back Julian Araujo sent a cross into the box that clipped off of LAFC defender Jesus Murillo’s leg. That deflection off Murillo created a friendly bounce to Joveljic who chipped the ball over goalkeeper Tomas Romero into the net.
The Galaxy’s lead was short lived as in the 43rd minute, LAFC forward Cristian Arango was fouled in front of the goal causing a penalty. Arango took the opportunity to score from the spot and executed, tying the match at one.
Just past halftime, Rodriguez made the match one that LAFC fans will remember for a while.
The LAFC forward picked up a pass in the 58th minute, dribbled past four defenders and slotted his first goal of the season above Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathon Bond into the net.
The back and forth competition seen from Rodriguez and Joveljic continued in the 64th minute where the Serbian scored once again, shooting across goal past Romero for his second goal.
The Uruguayan striker wasted no time to take back the lead. In the 66th minute, LAFC defender Diego Palacios struck a shot that was saved by Bond. Rodriguez collected the save and deposited the ball into the net.
“I am so happy for him [Rodriguez],” “LAFC head coach Bob Bradley in the post match press conference. “You know the first goal he scored is just showing skill in the box and then an incredible finish. Then he gets another one after that, so for me I am hoping that it is a big important moment for him [Rodriguez].”
The black and gold had hope with their 3-2 lead, but the Galaxy made sure that would not be the end.
The 86th minute brought the final and game tying goal when Galaxy forward Kevin Cabral scored, shooting into a net that was left unguarded by Romero.
The final whistle was blown by the referee and the home crowd was left in relief with LAFC’s efforts keeping the Galaxy away from three points and a win - El Tráfico was tense, but the Galaxy still have the upperhand, winning the first match-up in May.
“[It] was outstanding,” Galaxy head coach Greg Vanney said in the post match press conference. “[The] guys were gassed and they just kept going, they kept pushing and kept fighting. It is another point that we got out of character and hard work and some adjustments along the way.”
The two teams will face off for one last time as they head into the home stretch, Oct. 3 in the Galaxy’s home of Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson.