Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez and Sega Coulibaly each scored within the first half 31 minutes for the host Los Angeles Galaxy, who benefited when LAFC had a goal overturned in a 2-1 win Saturday night at Carson, Calif.
Down 2-1 and responsible for a majority of the pressure in the second half, LAFC (4-1-1, 13 points) was finally rewarded in the 79th minute. Cristian Arango was in perfect position to drive home the rebound of a Carlos Vela shot to make things interesting.
It then appeared Latif Blessing leveled the match for the visitors in the eighth minute of stoppage time, but a somewhat questionable video review led to an offside ruling.
Moments later, the final whistle sounded on another classic between El Trafico rivals. The Galaxy (4-2-0, 12 points) improved to 6-3-5 overall against their L.A. rival, and 5-0-2 at home. This match also marked the first time Mexican legends and longtime friends Chicharito and Vela squared off in an MLS game.
While Vela was the aggressor with two quality chances in the early minutes, Chicharito ignited the home crowd with the game’s first goal. Less than 15 minutes in, Samuel Grandsir floated the ball toward the far, top corner of the box, where Chicharito headed it on a bounce past outmatched LAFC goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau for his fifth of the season.
Vela nearly equalized twice during a five-minute span of the first half. In the 23rd, he was 1-on-1 with Galaxy keeper Jonathan Bond (six saves), but his apparent easy ball hit the left post. Then at 28 minutes, video review determined a goal by Vela as offside.
Adding to LAFC’s frustration, the Galaxy went up 2-0 in the 31st minute. Off a set piece, Grandsir crossed to the far end of the box, where Coulibaly pounced, and beat a sliding Crepeau.
LAFC midfielder Brian Rodriguez exited in the 11th minute with an apparent leg issue.
–Field Level Media