A dialed-in LA Galaxy squad missing their top stars clawed, scraped and eventually held on for a scoreless 0-0 draw Saturday night at BC Place.
If Carl Robinson’s full-strength Whitecaps side thought they would have their way with a lineup missing Romain Alessandrini, Ola Kamara, Ashley Cole and the dos Santos brothers among others, Sigi Schmid had a trick up his sleeve. The Galaxy boss deployed a 3-5-2 with No. 2 SuperDraft pick Tomas Hilliard-Arce earning his first MLS start and Emmanuel Boateng moving up top alongside Ariel Lassiter.
The well-organized formation frustrated Vancouver, limiting their counter attack and reducing their dangerous aerial presence in the final third to aimless crosses. With the exception of a Yordy Reyna breakway from a narrow angle, the Whitecaps failed to seriously threaten David Bingham’s net.
It appears Sigi has won the tactical battle thus far. No shots on goal for Vancouver, just lots of crosses. #VANvLA— LAG Confidential (@LAGConfidential) March 25, 2018
LA had their chances, notably when Emmanuel Boateng dispossessed Jose Aja for a breakway but the Ghanian pulled his shot wide.
The Whitecaps stepped up their attack in the second half, but the bend-but-don’t-break defense was up to the task, with Rolf Feltscher in particular locking down the right flank. Despite several close calls LA held on for a valuable road point.