With new signees and international superstars in attendance, LAFC downed their cross-town rivals the LA Galaxy in a 3-2 back and forth affair at Banc of California Stadium on Friday night.
It was LAFC’s first win in the “El Trafico” series since October 25, 2020.
“We saw an exciting match tonight but I’m most happy for our fans,” said Steve Cherundolo after the match.
Before the battle on the pitch, a huge introduction had to be made. In front of a full house, Welsh international and newest member of the Black and Gold, Gareth Bale was introduced to a thunderous applause.
LAFC’s other recent signee and former captain of the Italian National Team, Giorgio Chiellini was also in attendance as he made his first appearance on the 18 man roster as a substitute, but remained on the bench for the night.
The game started off as a chippy affair as both teams combined for a total of 13 fouls and a yellow card in the first half with neither team wanting to concede the advantage.
However, the fireworks quickly started for LAFC as they took an early lead 17 minutes after the whistle.
Jose Cifuentes was able to get his head on a Kellyn Acosta cross from a corner kick and scored despite Galaxy keeper Jonathan Bond’s best efforts, leading to an 1-0 start.
However, in these rivalry games the LA Galaxy refuse to do down quietly which would eventually result in a equalizer in the 55th minute, piecing an array of passes before Samuel Grandsir slotted the goal.
But it was LAFC who braced themselves for the long haul and rose to the occasion. Cifuentes appeared yet again as he headed a Carlos Vela cross into the goal to give the Black and Gold a 2-1 lead.
Before confetti had time to hit the ground, LAFC found themselves celebrating a third as Carlos Vela finds Cristian “Chicho” Arango and beats Bond with a low corner shot for a stunning 3-1 lead.
The Galaxy tried to execute a comeback and managed to net one back in the 80th minute, but LAFC came away with the emotional win.
“It was obviously a tough game, we made it harder than it needed to be, but overall we got the result and that’s what’s most important,” said Acosta after the win.
With the monkey off their back, LAFC remain the top team in the league and for now, carry the bragging rights amongst this rivalry.
“The emotions are important but we are more relaxed and relieved than we are overjoyous. In the end, it’s three points in a league match,” said Cherundolo.