Samuel Grandsir continued his stellar form against LAFC and they kept the game level through 69 minutes, but the LA Galaxy could not stand a late barrage in Friday’s El Trafico and lost 3-2 at The Banc.
In the teams’ third meeting across all competitions in 2022, and the first at LAFC’s stadium, the Galaxy finally faltered, as they battled back from a 1st-half consolation, only to give up two goals in quick succession later in the match and struggled to recover.
Greg Vanney used the same lineup to start the game that posted the rousing 4-0 win over CF Montreal on Monday, with Chicharito and Dejan Joveljić both on from the start.
The opening minutes were predictably cagey, with both teams getting some decent looks but nothing going in. Efrain Alvarez appeared to elbow Kellyn Acosta in the head during a minor scuffle, but there was no major penalty for the midfielder, beyond a yellow card just eight minutes in.
LAFC got the scoring going in the 17th minute, as Jose Cifuentes scored on a header off Acosta’s corner kick.
Jose Cifuentes gets the party started in LA. #LAFCvLA // Heineken #RivalryWeek pic.twitter.com/5TtzXZXpbh— Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 9, 2022
Joveljić nearly got a quick equalizer on a counterattack in the 20th minute, but his rather tame effort was pushed away by LAFC GK Maxime Crepeau.
That was the best look of the half for LA, as a few half-chances were centered around Samuel Grandsir, who has ripped a hole in LAFC in the past, but he was neutralized in the first 45. The teams went into the break with the visitors trailing by a goal, but the teams were even with two shots on goal apiece through the 1st half. There was a penalty appeal roughly midway through the half, but Alvarez getting taken down by Murillo in LAFC’s box was waived off by the referee.
The 2nd half began much like the 1st, with both teams cautious and trying to find a weakness in their foe in due time.
The Galaxy found it in the 55th minute, as Grandsir hit a tricky one-timer through traffic after a very patient buildup around the box to tie up the game.
Samuel Grandsir with the equalizer. GAME ON!#LAFCvLA // Heineken #RivalryWeek pic.twitter.com/6iikbyUoT5— Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 9, 2022
After the equalizer, the game got sloppy and the teams seemed to lose most of their composure, continually hitting passes right at the other team and then winning it back, again and again.
The first Galaxy substitutes entered in the 69th minute, as Sacha Kljestan and Victor Vazquez replaced Grandsir and Alvarez.
But moments after they entered, LAFC scored their second goal, this one from the run of play, but Cifuentes had the point-blank header following Carlos Vela’s shot/cross to make it 2-1 to the home team in the 70th minute.
JOSE CIFUENTES BRACE ⚽⚽#LAFCvLA // Heineken #RivalryWeek pic.twitter.com/s13ODfNHt6— Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 9, 2022
And then Cristian Arango had the insurance goal to further sink the Galaxy, two minutes later.
GOL— LAFC (@LAFC) July 9, 2022
▶️ #LAFCvLAG pic.twitter.com/FdzP2qm3cX
Just before that third goal, Kevin Cabral entered the game, replacing Joveljić, but the momentum had basically flipped by that point.
Still, LA got a late lifeline, as Vazquez found Rayan Raveloson for a header in the 81st minute to make it 3-2.
RAYAN RAVELOSON WITH HIS THIRD GOAL IN ONE WEEK pic.twitter.com/K4708djPVc— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) July 9, 2022
LA nearly tied up the game in the dying minutes, but this time, Raveloson was in the wrong spot, as a goalbound attempt bounced off him and over the goal.
Once again, LA chipped away at a multigoal deficit and made a game interesting, but it’s pretty clear that giving up three goals is a bridge too far for this team more often than not. I think the difference was the venue and the Galaxy losing that invincible feeling they have in this rivalry at Dignity Health Sports Park, and while you never want to lose a rivalry game, this was a game of a couple too many lapses rather than a flat performance all around. It was certainly not good, but if they can regroup and move on quickly, then that’s what they should do.
Next up for the Galaxy, another rivalry clash, this one Wednesday at home against the San Jose Earthquakes. Meeting the big California rivals back-to-back on short rest isn’t ideal, but no excuses. Hopefully the next clash has a better outcome for LA.
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