Los Angeles FC beat New York Red Bulls
Carlos Vela was the star for Los Angeles FC as they overcame the New York Red Bulls in an entertaining game at the Banc of California Stadium on Sunday night.
Vela scored the third goal in LAFC’s 4-2 victory and created two others in what will surely be remembered as one of the games of the regular season. The decisive moment came just after the hour mark, with the scores level at 2-2. LAFC had already come close to taking the lead, getting the ball into the net on 51 minutes, only to see that effort ruled out after a VAR review.
However, there was no denying the Supporters’ Shield leaders, who went into the game as strong favourites with sports betting companies. New Red Bulls signing Rece Buckmaster got into a tangle with LAFC player Eduard Atuesta, who fell in the box, and match referee Drew Fischer immediately awarded a penalty to the home side. The experienced Vela took a composed spot-kick, placing his effort to the right of the Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles, who dived the wrong way.
That was Vela’s 23rd goal of the season, extending his lead at the top of the scoring charts. A few minutes later, he was again involved in an LAFC attack, setting up Eddie Segura with a perfectly weighted lob that enabled the Colombian defender to head in and give LAFC a two-goal lead.
That goal was almost a replica of the play for the opening score of the game, when Vela set up Jordan Harvey with a beautifully weighted free kick in the 23rd minute. That opening goal was followed two minutes later by another well-worked move, which ended with a smart first-time pass across goal by Steven Beitashour, which was fired into the net by Latif Blessing.
To their credit, New York didn’t crumble and showed plenty of attacking endeavour of their own, earning their reward on 42 minutes when Cristian Cásseres Jr. fired in past goalkeeper Tyler Miller, following good work from Kaku. Three minutes later, Cásseres was involved in the action again, finding Danny Royer with a good pass. Royer put the ball across the six-yard box and Brian White was on hand to scramble the ball home and level the game.
Ultimately, however, the MLS leaders proved too strong and are now 16 points clear in the Western Conference and looking unstoppable in the Supporters’ Shield race.
Words: Josh Dixon