Saturday, May 26th
LAFC vs. DC United
Written by: Frank-O
I got to the brand new Banc of California Stadium around 4:45pm. As soon as you get near this place, you can already hear the supporter group chanting & singing in unison in support of the home team: LAFC!
Today’s match is against DC United, who won in their last match against the San Jose Quakes, 3 to 1. LAFC lost their last matchup on the road against the Portland Timbers, but remain undefeated at home. Tonight will be another fight to keep the home winning streak alive.
LAFC started the match dominating the field with multiple strikes on target but DC United wasn’t going out without a fight. LAFC’s offense started to get confidence in the 21st minute of the match with no. 9- Diego Rossi’s cross into the box with a failed header by no. 14 & midfielder Mark-Anthony Kane, but a great save by DC United’s goalie, David Ousted. In the 37th minute, a missed longshot from outside of the box that just went over the goal by no. 20- Eduard Atuesta kept the crowd’s hope alive. Right after that, in the 38th minute, forward- Diego Rossi fought some traffic but was able to squeeze in a goal after Kane got the ball to him while being surrounded by DC United defensive players.
LAFC had taken the lead right before halftime, but in the stoppage time of the first half, which was only 3 minutes, DC United got close to scoring a header from a corner kick by no. 22- Yamil Asad with the failed attempt by no. 15- Steven Birnbaum & another amazing save by LAFC’s goalie- Tyler Miller. Also in stoppage time during an offensive attack by DC United, LAFC’s defensive back- Dejan Jaković went in for a slide tackle on DCU player- Paul Arriola which resulted in the match’s first disciplinary card- straight red, resulting in the ejection of Jaković. Still in stoppage time, a free kick was given to LAFC near the goal, which was taken by no. 33- Benny Feilhaber just skidding the outside of the net & marked the end the first half.
Going into the 2nd half, LAFC being a man down, still had momentum on their side. In the 55th minute a counter attack by LAFC left their forward, no. 10- Carlos Vela in a one-on-one against DCU goalie Ousted with Rossi not far behind to Vela’s right, but Vela being pressured from behind took his shot at an angle & was not able to score, barely missing the far post. There was a moment of controversy in the 67th minute as a cross taken by LAFC’s no. 2- Jordan Harvey struck DCU’s no. 18- Zoltán Stieber in the hand while in the goalie box at first was called as a “hand-ball” & LAFC was initially rewarded with a penalty shot. The referee, who instead of allowing the penalty shot to be taken, insisted on reviewing the play via the Video Referee. After he did so, he reprimanded the penalty kick & gave LAFC a corner kick which lit the crowd up in anger.
Finally in the 83rd minute, DCU was able to get their equalizer with a fantastic cross by no. 28- Joseph Mora that went past the goal but was headed back by no. 7- Paul Arriola & finished with a header again by no. 11- Darren Mattocks who challenged the home fans by hushing the crowd. The action was still not over as LAFC attempted to get the winning goal in an attack in the 87th minute, but a failed attempt with a shot on target by Atuesta, but another save by Ousted. During the stoppage time of the 2nd half, DCU had a attempt to score the winning goal with a corner kick that was headed by no. 13- Frédérick Brillant that actually beat LAFC’s goalie- Miller, but hit the far post & was cleared by LAFC’s defense.
The end result was a tied match at 1-1 leaving LAFC still undefeated at home but in 2nd place with 21 points just under Sporting KC who leads the Western Conference in the MLS. DC United, who was not favored in the match-up, got the better outcome of this game with 1 point, but is still in last place of the Eastern Conference of the MLS. LAFC’s next match will be on the road against FC Dallas on June, 2nd at 5pm Pacific Time. Be sure not to miss it & watch the full highlights below!