LAFC dropped points for the first time in 2019, drawing 2-2 with New York City FC at Yankee Stadium.
Captain Carlos Vela continued his early MVP-like campaign, scoring both goals, including one from the penalty spot. On the season, the Mexican international now has three goals and three assists.
“I think today was a really tough game,” Vela told media after. “Both teams make really good chances to win the game, but in the end, I think it’s justice for the result.”
While you can see here, that Vela was not as involved this week with the ball, he was clinical when in possession.
Also for the first time this season, Bob Bradley had to make changes to his starting lineup. Danilo Silva replaced the injured Steven Beitashour at right back, while Latif Blessing started ahead of Lee Nguyen.
In the opening moments of the match, Walker Zimmerman could have opened the scoring off of a set piece. Vela flipped a ball into the box, but the center back was unable to get a shot away.
Later in the early stages, Vela danced by a couple of NYCFC defenders around the penalty box. He fired a shot from the right, though, it was blocked in the end.
Right before the half-hour mark, Vela tested Sean Johnson, but the NYCFC goalkeeper managed to tip the ball out for a corner.
Despite the early opportunities from the visiting side, it was New York City who took the lead minutes before halftime. Alexandru Mitrita picked up the ball and went on a sensational individual run before smashing home the opener.
Then, in the 41st minute, the Romanian international nearly scored his second off a free kick. From 25 yards away, Mitrita’s attempt bounced back off the crossbar.
A minute later, LAFC found the equalizing goal. Blessing, who got his first start of the season, put Vela in behind the NYCFC defense. Then, the captain, calmly slotted his shot underneath Johnson to level the match at one all.
At the hour mark, Ben Sweat dashed towards the byline before playing a pass back through the box. He found Alexander Ring in the area, and the NYCFC midfielder found the inside of the near post.
Vela scores from the spot to level the match
LAFC won a penalty with 17 minutes left in the match after Blessing was hit by a late challenge. Vela stepped up to the spot and from 12 yards away, sent Johnson the wrong way for his second match-tying goal.
Next Saturday, LAFC returns to the Banc of California Stadium, as they welcome Real Salt Lake for a clash under the lights.
Kickoff for this match is scheduled for 7:30 PM PST.