Even without big names like Carlos Vela and Javier “El Chicarito” Hernández that many people were hoping to see, El Tráfico continues to deliver. Two Southern California teams-LAFC and LA Galaxy-played their rivalry game all knotted up, with both teams combining to score six goals total in a contest that concluded in a 3-3 draw at Banc of California Stadium.
“Really feel for the guys tonight,” LAFC head coach Bob Bradley said after the game. “That’s a tough game to tie. Feels like a loss. But it’s also especially tough because I thought there are a lot of positives. I loved our response after going down. I thought that generally in terms of just pushing a game, everybody engaged in a good way. There were so many things to take away, a lot of really good performances.”
Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathan Bond denies two rocket goals from Diego Rossi. In the 20th minute, Dejan Joveljic scored his first MLS and his first “El Trafico goal with LAFC defender Julian Araujo with the cross with Galaxy Defender Jesus Murillo messing up the block and Joveljic chipping the goal.
In the 58th minute, Brian Rodriguez dribbled his way around and passed three defenders and found the net, and made it a 2-1 lead for LAFC. Six minutes later, Joveljic equaled the game at 2-2 by making his second goal. Two minutes after Joveljic scored, Rodriguez put the Black & Gold ahead again. LAFC defender Diego Palacios had his shot blocked by LA Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathan Bond.
In the 83rd minute, LA Galaxy midfielder Efrain Alvarez had his shot blocked but the ball fell to Kevin Cabral. LAFC was minutes away from winning their first game since mid-July when they played Salt Lake. Galaxy winger Kevin Cabral scored in the 86th minute, making it the fourth time in eight games LAFC lost points on a goal in stoppage time.
So where do LAFC go from here? Bradley talked about the next steps his team will need to take moving forward.
“Well, the next step is building on what we do every day, and so I told everybody that, look, this isn’t the step we wanted, but there’s positives and I make sure to understand what those little things are and that they realize that when they are all that committed in the game,
when they are helping each other, when physically they are pushing their limits;. I didn’t think when we got around the box in the first half, I
didn’t think we were sharp,” Bradley remarked.
LA Galaxy head coach Greg Vanney said there were good takeaways from the ballgame, but he added that his squad can be their own worst enemy.
“There are some things in there that are positive to take away,” Vanney said. “We create our own demise in many ways.”
Back on August 25, 2019, LAFC and LA Galaxy also played to a 3-3 draw at Banc of California with Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring two goals in that game. LA Galaxy also received a goal from Cristian Pavon in the tie. In this contest, Rodriguez scored two goals for LAFC. Newcomer Cristian Arango also scores a goal for LAFC. For LA Galaxy, the scoring honors went to Joveljic with two.
“This was a highly important match for us where we wanted to come out with points,” Rodriguez said. “We had architecture moments and I felt extremely well on my individual work. I was able to get the two goals but I would have loved to finish off with the three points.”
This was the 12th meeting between LAFC and LA Galaxy. LA Galaxy has the upper hand in this matchup with five recorded victories. There have been four draws, and LAFC has won three of those contests. The two teams’ next “El Trafico” game will be played on Oct. 3. That game will be played at Dignity Health Sports Park.
“We’re not active sometimes and rotating from side to side and pushing our fullbacks out to get tighter to wingers and our center back strong side center back coming across to help us defend that space,” Vanney said.
Joveljic is the man of the match of “El Traffico” and also introduced himself to the fans in Los Angeles. After the “El Traffico” It was Rossi’s last game for LAFC before heading to Turkey’s Fenerbahce on a loan.
“Our backlines sometimes is getting pessimistic and moving backward when our midfield in front is trying to step and get pressure on the ball huge spaces happen between our backline and midfield line,” said Vanney. “Our backline needs to be braver at times about recognizing and helping our midfield to pressure to the ball and squeeze and condense space.”
After the 3-3 draw, LA Galaxy is currently in fourth place with (11-8-3 36 points). LAFC is in eighth place with (6-9-6, 24 points).