After surrendering an early two goal lead in the last five minutes of the first half, LAFC defeated the New York Red Bulls 4-2 in front of a raucous home crowd. MVP candidate Carlos Vela was among four different LA players to score. He also chalked up two assists on the night.
The first half was essentially a tale of two quarters. The first quarter belonged to LAFC, with the second being controlled by the New York Red Bulls. LAFC opened up the scoring with two goals scored three minutes apart. Jordan Harvey got his name on the scoresheet first in the 23’ with a brilliantly timed header off an assist by Carlos Vela. Latif Blessing doubled the advantage in the 25’ with a thunder strike of his own.
It was all going the boys in black and gold’s way... until the 42’. NYRB showed that they could score in quick succession too. Cristian Cásseres Jr performed the quick “turn-and-shoot” to perfection when he hit his second goal of the season. Three minutes later, Daniel Royer received a floating pass over the defensive line and sprinted towards the near post. Perfectly timing a cross to Brian White, the ball defected off the back of Tyler Miller and found the back of the net to level the first half at two goals each.
The second half saw LAFC head coach Bob Bradley throw attack after attack at the Red Bulls. Mark-Anthony Kaye would see his goal get taken off after VAR intervened. After Rece Buckmaster got tangled up and tripped Eduard Atuesta in the box, Carlos Vela would slot home his league-leading 22nd goal of the season in the 61’. The dagger came in the 71’, after a Carlos Vela set piece. The ball looked like it had a homing beacon installed as it left Vela’s foot and found the head of Eddie Segura.
The answer never came for the Red Bulls and LAFC claimed all three points. With the victory, LAFC further distance themselves from second place with 55 points in the West. Next up, they travel to the Beehive State and face Real Salt Lake. New York, who currently holds the fifth place spot in the East, will head back to Harrison, NJ and prepare to host the New England Revolution.