El Trafico Draw: LA Galaxy and Los Angeles FC play to 1-1, Galaxy take season series

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CARSON, CA - AUGUST 24: Ashley Cole #3 of Los Angeles Galaxy tackles Carlos Vela #10 of Los Angeles FC during the first half of the MLS match at StubHub Center on August 24, 2018 in Carson, California. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

CARSON, Calif. (August 24, 2018) – LA Galaxy and Los Angeles FC played to a 1-1 draw on Friday night at the StubHub Center. Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Carlos Vela scored the goals as the Galaxy took the season series in the first year of El Trafico.

El Trafico Draw: LA Galaxy and Los Angeles FC play to 1-1

The first half was a very nervy affair. In the first few minutes. Ibrahimovic got several good chances but couldn’t finish. The Galaxy were beneficiaries of an injury, as just a minute into the game, new LAFC defender Danilo Silva appeared to injure his right upper leg.

Ibrahimovic had his moment 15 minutes in. Ola Kamara ran onto a ball out wide then sent a cross to him. Ibrahimovic chested the ball down then poked it toward the far post. Silva appeared to clear it off the line. Head official Jair Maruffo went to a VAR review and found that the ball did cross the line, awarding a goal.

The two sides traded chances the rest of the half, with most of the good chances sent right at the goalkeepers. Ibrahimovic almost had his 500th goal in the 20th minute when he volleyed a shot off the post and out of play.

The best chance for LAFC in the first half came in the final minutes of when Diego Rossi ran onto a pass from Carlos Vela but shot just wide of the near post. The half ended 1-0.

Just six minutes into the second half, LAFC pulled one back. After some good work on a counter attack, Vela took the ball to the touchline in the box. Perry Kitchen panicked and left his feet, clipping Vela and a PK was called. The LAFC captain stepped up and sent the ball on the underside of the bar to make it 1-1.

The rest of the game was a back-and-forth affair with the teams trading half chances. The best chance came in the 73rd minute. A ball played Benny Feilhaber on-side and in on goal with just David Bingham to beat. The goalkeeper came off his line and denied Feilhaber, who appeared to want to dribble the ball into the net.

Rossi had a chance in stoppage time but substitute Daniel Steres deflected it off the frame of goal. The match ended 1-1.

Three takeaways:

Silva injury played a role: Silva had to be subbed out in the 27th minute, but before that he had several plays where he struggled physically. He tried to clear the ball off the line on the Galaxy goal. One has to wonder if he didn’t suffer the injury, would he have been able to keep that ball out?

Galaxy defensive mistake costs: The Galaxy were playing a great game for 50 minutes. The defense kept it simple and was mistake free. They were playing Route 1 to Zlatan, but LAFC wasn’t able to stop it. Then Kitchen made a mistake and Vela tied the game. That’s been the story of the year.

Both teams drop points: Both sides had good chances to get a second goal tonight. Ibrahimovic could have easly had his 500th professional goal within 20 minutes. LAFC were the better team in the second half. Both are probably ok with a draw but feel they could have won. In any case, the Galaxy win the first year of the Trafico with a win and two draws.

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