LAFC extends unbeaten run with 2-2 draw with NYCFC
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Carlos Vela scored his first goal at home and Los Angeles FC extended its unbeaten run to six matches with a 2-2 draw with New York City FC on Sunday night.
Los Angeles (6-2-2) is 2-0-2 at Banc of California Stadium and hasn’t lost since a 5-0 defeat at Atlanta United on April 7.
“We showed we can play against one of the best teams in the league, and this is the way to building a team,” said Vela, who has scored six goals in his first 10 MLS games.
David Villa and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi each scored for NYCFC (6-2-3), which is 0-2-2 in its last four road games while being outscored 11-4 in that span.
Tajouri-Shradi got a point for NYCFC with his 75th minute equalizer on a sharp-angle shot from the edge of the 6-yard box after Vela scored from outside the 6-yard box in the 66th minute to give Los Angeles a 2-1 lead.
NYCFC had two quality chances to come away with the win. Los Angeles goalkeeper Tyler Miller blocked Jesus Medina’s shot with his face in the 77th minute, and Tyler Zimmerman deflected Jo Inge Berget’s shot just wide in the 81st.
“We needed to show that we have a good team,” NYCFC manager Patrick Vieira said. “Where we were not consistent (earlier this season) is the mental approach of the game, and today I was really pleased and really happy with the way we worked together. We showed our real face and we created chances.”
Coming in off a 4-0 loss at the New York Red Bulls, Villa put NYCFC ahead 1-0 in the 13th minute with his 68th career MLS goal.
A penalty kick was awarded following a video review of a handball by midfielder Eduard Atuesta. Atuesta’s left arm was extended while defending a corner, which was immediately recognized by multiple NYCFC players and they swarmed around referee Chris Penso.
Villa’s shot to his right was saved by Miller, but Villa was able to follow up the rebound and headed in his fifth goal of the season.
But Los Angeles tied it at 1 in the 23rd minute on an own goal by Sebastien Ibeagha. Zimmerman headed a corner towards Ibeagha and he stuck out his foot to inadvertently send it past a diving Sean Johnson.
“Fortunate to get the deflection to go in, but that’s what you are supposed to do in those situations is make sure you put it back on target,” Zimmerman said.